Facebook CEO Reverses Privacy Stance

Company "just went for it" when it suddenly made your profile much more public

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
    Cyan Bannister / TechCrunch
    Mark Zuckerberg figures since some people are posting personal details online, why not just suddenly reveal the personal details of millions of users to the public?

    During an interview last week, Facebook CEO and co-founder Mark Zuckerberg explained why the site suddenly decided to change user privacy settings late last year.

    The changes resulted in profile details suddenly being made much more public, including Zuckerberg's.

    Pointing to the rise of blogs and social networks, Zuckerberg says living life publicly online is more popular and prevalent, so "we decided that these would be the social norms now and we just went for it."

    However, one of the things that made Facebook so popular was the ability to only share details with trusted friends.

    Back in 2008, Zuckerberg had declared that privacy "the vector around which Facebook operates," and making those controls easy to use and understand was one of the company's goals.

    However, in the wake of the recent site changes, many users were confused as to how to edit their settings to make all this newly public information private again.

    In an interview with an anonymous Facebook employee, it was revealed that engineers had a secret "master key" password that allowed them to view and edit any user's profile from the company's computers, and people have been fired from the company for abusing access to Facebook's data.

    Also, thanks to the regular system-wide backups, even things you've deleted from Facebook are probably still on one of the site's servers, and accessible to Facebook employees.

    So how can you keep your personal information safe from snooping Facebookers or sudden, massive changes to the site? Don't post it to Facebook.

    Photo by Cyan Banister / TechCrunch..

    Jackson West still does not trust Facebook, and probably never will.