Facebook CEO: Privacy Not the 'Social Norm'

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg told the audience at the 2009 Crunchies Awards in San Francisco that Web users have become more accepting of information sharing in the past several years - a change he said has guided Facebook's privacy strategy.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg recently declared that privacy has become less of a "social norm" on the Internet as users have become more comfortable sharing information.

Zuckerberg's comments came Jan. 8 at the Crunchies Awards in San Francisco. The annual ceremony is co-hosted by TechCrunch, GigaOm and VentureBeat and according to organizers is meant to recognize the year's "most compelling startups, Internet and technology innovations."

A video of the interview with Zuckerberg can be seen here (the privacy discussion begins at the 2:30 mark).

"It is interesting to looking back...when we got started just in my dorm room at Harvard, the question that a lot of people asked is why would I want to put any information on the Internet at all...people have really gotten comfortable not only sharing more information, and different kinds, but more openly with more people, and that social norm is just something that's evolved over time," the CEO told the audience. "We view it as our role in the system to constantly be kind of innovating and updating what our system is to reflect what the current social norms are."

Facebook has been at the center of a great deal of controversy in recent weeks due to changes to its privacy controls. Many users felt that the "recommended" settings by Facebook were an attempt to get users to share more information and ran counter to their claims of protecting user's information. This debate led several consumer and privacy advocacy groups to file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission Dec. 17.

eWEEK has compiled a list of facts for Facebook users to consider when they want to do something about their privacy.