In a column published in the Washington Post, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg admitted some missteps with Facebook's privacy controls and repeated a pledge that the social networking site would simplify its privacy settings in the coming weeks.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg made headlines earlier this year
when he declared privacy was no longer a "social norm." But in a column published today by the Washington Post
, the CEO admitted Facebook's privacy controls may have "missed the mark."
"Six years ago, we built Facebook around a few simple ideas," Zuckerberg wrote. "People want to share and stay connected
with their friends and the people around them. If we give people
control over what they share, they will want to share more. If people
share more, the world will become more open and connected. And a world
that's more open and connected is a better world. These are still our
core principles today."
According to Zuckerberg, the challenge is to facilitate the sharing
of information while preserving user choice and control - all the
while keeping the experience simple for everyone.
"These are issues we think about all the time," he wrote. "Whenever
we make a change, we try to apply the lessons we've learned along the
way. 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."
In a radio interview May 18, Facebook Director of Public Policy Tim Sparapani said the company planned to simplify its privacy settings
due to the ongoing controversy. It is not clear yet how Facebook will change the settings
, but Zuckerberg re-iterated that the modifications will be rolled out in the coming weeks.
In the meantime, the battle about the site's -personalization'
feature and default privacy settings continues to percolate. During the
past few weeks, Facebook's critics have gone as far as complaining to
the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
Security vendor Sophos conducted an online poll recently that found
many respondents were considering leaving Facebook due to the
controversy. Of the roughly 1,600 people surveyed, 60 percent said it
is either "highly likely" or "possible" that they will leave Facebook
due to concerns over privacy. Just 24 percent said they either wouldn't
leave or it is "not likely." The remaining 16 percent of the
respondents had already left the site.
"Social networks are a top concern among IT security teams from a
proprietary data sensitivity perspective and that it poses an
additional route to malware infections," Mike Haro, senior security
analyst at Sophos, told eWEEK.
Though Zuckerberg acknowledged missteps, he stressed some of
Facebook's core principles are to give users control over how
their information is shared and to not
share personal information with people or services users
"Facebook has evolved from a simple dorm-room project to a global
social network connecting millions of people," the CEO wrote. "We will
keep building, we will keep listening and we will continue to have a
dialogue with everyone who cares enough about Facebook to share their
ideas. And we will keep focused on achieving our mission of giving
people the power to share and making the world more open and connected."