Facebook’s Founder Mark Zuckerberg Responds to Privacy Critics,“We Just Missed the Mark”

May 24, 2010

4:17 pm

Last week we reported that high profile Facebook users like Jason Calacanis were deleting their Facebook pages in reaction to privacy concerns. Responding to criticism is something all entrepreneurs have to learn to deal with so I wondered how Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg would respond to his users that had expressed privacy concerns. Today, in a piece published in the Washington Post, Zuckerberg finally broke his silence.

Zuckerberg started off by saying that the company had been listening to users concerns and that changes would be made in the coming weeks to address them. He also touched on the fact that new privacy settings were extremely complicated.

“The biggest message we have heard recently is that people want easier control over their information. Simply put, many of you thought our controls were too complex. Our intention was to give you lots of granular controls; but that may not have been what many of you wanted. We just missed the mark.”

Finally, Zuckerberg went on to reassure users that their private data on Facebook would, indeed, remain private.

“We have also heard that some people don’t understand how their personal information is used and worry that it is shared in ways they don’t want. I’d like to clear that up now. Many people choose to make some of their information visible to everyone so people they know can find them on Facebook. We already offer controls to limit the visibility of that information and we intend to make them even stronger.

Here are the principles under which Facebook operates:

— You have control over how your information is shared.
— We do not share your personal information with people or services you don’t want.
— We do not give advertisers access to your personal information.
— We do not and never will sell any of your information to anyone.“

While this is most definitely a step in the right direction, it remains to be seen if this will actually quell the negative criticism or if this could be a case of too little too late.

Photo Attribution: f8 Press Conference – Mark Zuckerberg by (CC) Brian Solis, www.briansolis.com and bub.blicio.us.

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Mark Bebawy (@markbebawy) is a Washington, D.C. metro native with a passion for all things web, social media, and startup related. Mark has an extensive background in technology, having worked in the field running his own IT consulting company that catered to small business.

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