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Facebook's Zuckerberg Says Forget Privacy 415

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the speak-for-yourself-not-your-users dept.
judgecorp writes "Privacy is no longer a social norm, according to the founder of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg. Speaking at the Crunchie awards in San Francisco, the entrepreneur said that expectations had changed, and people now default to sharing online, not privacy. It's all right for him, but does he mean it's ok for bodies like the UK government to monitor all citizens' Internet use?"
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Facebook's Zuckerberg Says Forget Privacy

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  • Better ads (Score:5, Insightful)

    by psy (88244) on Monday January 11, 2010 @06:10PM (#30729742)

    What he's saying is it is his customers (advertisers not users) want less privacy, so they can target ads more profitably.

    • Re:Better ads (Score:5, Insightful)

      by aafiske (243836) on Monday January 11, 2010 @06:13PM (#30729808)

      It's also a lot easier to say 'You don't actually want privacy' than fix the security and sharing model of facebook. If you don't expect privacy, all the various holes and dirty tricks no longer matter.

      • Re:Better ads (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Omegium (576650) on Monday January 11, 2010 @06:31PM (#30730064)

        It's also a lot more profitable to say 'You don't actually want privacy' than fix the security and sharing model of facebook. If you don't expect privacy, all the various holes and dirty tricks no longer matter.

        There, fixed that for you. Advertisers do not like privacy (of their viewers).

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by interval1066 (668936)

        *wave hand in Storm Trooper's face* "This isn't the privacy you're looking for..."

        Looks like I picked a good time to never have registered for Facebook. Hey, a college geek creates a web page and is able to retire (if he wants) a year later from its action. More power to 'im. But then sit there and blow a corporate line of smoke in my face? That's just insulting. Facebook, you'll NEVER know me. Boo ya!

        • Re:Better ads (Score:5, Informative)

          by FlightTest (90079) on Monday January 11, 2010 @07:41PM (#30730934) Homepage

          Here's the problem; you've never registered for Facebook, but have your friends? Your family? How many pictures of you are on Facebook regardless of your non-participation? Did one of your friends post a picture taken that night you all got drunk and maybe did something you'd prefer you mother (or a potential employer) didn't hear about?

          The problem is that your friends disregard for their privacy translates into their disregard for your privacy, and suddenly a "reasonable person" no longer has an expectation of privacy.

          Facebook may already know you, like it or nor.

          • by ClosedSource (238333) on Monday January 11, 2010 @08:14PM (#30731272)

            Most of us aren't interesting enough to have friends post embarrassing pictures of us on the Internet. Besides that would require us to interact with other people, possibly including girls.

          • Re:Better ads (Score:4, Interesting)

            by cayenne8 (626475) on Monday January 11, 2010 @09:14PM (#30731838) Homepage Journal
            "Here's the problem; you've never registered for Facebook, but have your friends? Your family? How many pictures of you are on Facebook regardless of your non-participation? Did one of your friends post a picture taken that night you all got drunk and maybe did something you'd prefer you mother (or a potential employer) didn't hear about?

            The problem is that your friends disregard for their privacy translates into their disregard for your privacy, and suddenly a "reasonable person" no longer has an expectation of privacy."

            Nope...fortunately my college days when drinking and ending up nekkid on the floor with a skull bong possibly in the back ground (someone elses house) were back in the days before the internet, and with 35mm cameras (no cell phones either). I made sure and got all the copies of the photos back then (hell, I was the one usually taking the pics)...and made sure I had all the negatives too.

            Frankly, I'm just waiting for someone in my past to run for senator...then some of those party pics of them might come back out, unless I get a cushy job.

            :)

            Right now...many of my friends that are privacy conscious, don't have facebook or anything like it...others that do, I've told NOT to put me in there, and they respect that.

            I'd not join...especially with any real identifiable information....but so that I can reach others' sites...I thought about setting up an account with an untraceable nym email account....and only access it through TOR...figuring that would circumvent any way for them to trace me at Facebook.

          • One of the reasons I don't allow photo's of myself. Excepting government ID (EG drivers license).

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by NickFortune (613926)

          Looks like I picked a good time to never have registered for Facebook.

          Well, exactly!

          It's as if he was running a site for pet lovers, and then reasoning that since his subscribers were overwhelmingly in favour of dogs, it therefore followed that everyone liked dogs, and therefore that dog ownership should become mandatory.

          The reason I don't use social networking sites is precisely because I value my privacy. At best Zuckerberg is extrapolating from a very skewed sample. At worst, his arguments are cyni

      • Re:Better ads (Score:5, Insightful)

        by nine-times (778537) <nine.times@gmail.com> on Monday January 11, 2010 @07:35PM (#30730848) Homepage
        Maybe, but on the other hand, the fact of using facebook says something about how much you value your privacy. If you really want information to remain private, I would suggest that you just not put it on social networking sites.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by selven (1556643)

          The problem is that Facebook has some "share this information only with close friends" settings, and people who use them do have some expectation of privacy for that data. Unfortunately these settings have about 5 million security holes in them.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by wamatt (782485) *
          Why does it have to be that way though? You may for example, have a bare minimum profile, with very little public info on it, for the purpose for keeping in touch with friends with maybe a few family photos tagged. But those friends can tag you in photo's *they* upload and now have violated your privacy. Yes you can turn it off altogether. But what if you want to keep tagging but merely moderate it? You cant. Its very crude and I'm sure they can improve it to be more reasonable.
      • Re:Better ads (Score:4, Insightful)

        by scamper_22 (1073470) on Monday January 11, 2010 @08:24PM (#30731346)

        on the other hand...

        The whole internet experience has been a deregulated mess that has somehow gotten along. Even something as simple as SMTP mail is totally insecure. It is prone to spam... yet... we've managed to get by for decades on it. Spam was a problem, we developed solutions. Ditto for things like posting on forums. Where's the accountability for that star wars kid? Shouldn't that video posting have been approved by a publisher before embarrassing him in public like that? What's interesting of course is the world has not come to and end. It's actually worked quite well in its non-regulated manner. I'm not suggesting there have not been any problems... but we've managed quite well.

        I had some old forum posts where i used my real name... I didn't want them anymore. I found the list names, contacted people... most got taken down... the ones that didn't... well I realized... who cares. It's not that big a deal.

        If we had regulation on it, chances are everything on the net would have been authenticated, lawyers would be all over every post... the internet as we know it would not exist.
        The internet has developed in this quite careless but 'get it connected, and get it working' kind of way.

        Now back to facebook. I don't mind user criticism, but there are increasing calls for government to look into things or enforce things. I'm just a little wary of this.
        I use the privacy settings on facebook... and I wouldn't post any pictures on there if it didn't. But yeah, people are getting along okay. If you don't want a picture of you on there, tell your friends to remove you. Maybe it's not your friend... there are many ways of dealing with it... and in the end... most people are not malicious and won't post a really bad picture. Theres a possibility things can go horribly wrong... but in general... they have not. Now weigh that against government censorship and monitoring over the internet... which is already happening in places... even in the western world like australia.

        I'll side with openness and freedom of the internet despite the inherent problems.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by sh00z (206503)
      Countdown to Zuckerberg's SSN being posted here in 3....2....
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by timeOday (582209)
        If he posted his SSN to Facebook, you would have a point.

        Look at the direct quotes attributed to Zuckerberg in the article. Ignore the spin of the article, the more extreme spin of the slashdot blurb, and the yet more extreme spin of most of the comments here. Zuckerberg is not saying that spying is OK or that people should be forced to disclose information. He is observing that social norms have changed, and more people are choosing to be more public. I am fine with that, so long as it is voluntary,

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Exactly. His true customers are the advertisers, the developers who make the games. People who have FB accounts are visitors. They are not the ones shelling the dollars over to FB.

      Of course, this is just in FB's interests to have zero privacy so they get the maximum ad revenue. FB apps already ask for way more permissions than they ever really need.

      Long term, this is not a good attitude to take. MySpace made this mistake, and when something new came along, they were abandoned just like Orkut and many o

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by fyngyrz (762201)

        They [users] are not the ones shelling the dollars over to FB.

        Yes, in fact, they are. Facebook users give money to the advertisers, and the advertisers, in turn, give a portion of that back to Facebook. Any advertiser that gives money to Facebook and doesn't get more than that from Facebook users doesn't do it for long, I assure you. If Facebook mistreats its users, this will directly affect its income stream. Likewise, if it serves them well, that will also affect its income stream.

    • Re:Better ads (Score:5, Insightful)

      by u38cg (607297) <calum@callingthetune.co.uk> on Monday January 11, 2010 @06:39PM (#30730162) Homepage
      WHat he's saying is, it's one rule for me, and another for you. Or have you changed your mind and set your profile to open, zuck?
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by TheRaven64 (641858)
        What about the whole site? If the default is sharing, why do I get a 404 if I ever click on a link someone sent me on Facebook? Oh, that's right, you can't browse any of it without creating an account. Sounds like the default is more like a walled garden than an open Internet.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by dynamo52 (890601)
        Immediately after the changes to the privacy policy friends lists were available publicly. After an initial outcry they quickly added the option to hide friends from your profile page but the information was still accessible through a backdoor url tied to the facebook user ID. Using this url, a few friends and I started messaging everybody on Mark Zuckerberg's friends list. It took about 8 hours before they again restricted the policy to only allow friends of friends to see your list if you chose to have
    • Re:Better ads (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Mad Merlin (837387) on Monday January 11, 2010 @07:08PM (#30730538) Homepage

      I'm sorry, but if you use Facebook, you have no expectation of privacy. Anything and everything you put into Facebook should be considered public knowledge. This is why I do not use Facebook.

      • Re:Better ads (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Geoff (968) on Monday January 11, 2010 @07:55PM (#30731080) Homepage

        I use Facebook, but there's a very simple rule for it. Assume anything there is public information. Don't want something public? Don't put it on Facebook (or anywhere else online).

    • by sqrt(2) (786011) on Monday January 11, 2010 @07:27PM (#30730740) Journal

      What ads? There are ads on Facebook? When did this start?

  • The look at me era (Score:3, Insightful)

    by BurzumNazgul (1163509) on Monday January 11, 2010 @06:11PM (#30729754)
    It does seem like people are willing to sacrifice much more privacy for the sake of convincing everyone how cool they are. It's a long way from those scary bar-codes everyone was worried about 30 years ago.
    • by quangdog (1002624) <.moc.liamg. .ta. .godgnauq.> on Monday January 11, 2010 @06:22PM (#30729934)
      I think it's less that people are willing to sacrifice privacy for self-aggrandizement, but rather that they do not stop to analyze the implications to their privacy of what they are about to post.

      Joe sixpack does not wonder about how posting pictures of naked portions of his anatomy may affect his ability to find a job in 5 years time.
      • by betterunixthanunix (980855) on Monday January 11, 2010 @07:05PM (#30730504)
        Joe sixpack has nothing to worry about if he sends a photograph of his genitals to some random website. That is not really where the privacy problems of Facebook come up.

        We are guaranteed the right to privacy to protect us from the government. Tyranny cannot exist when the government cannot pry open arbitrary aspects of the lives of the citizens -- tyrannical laws cannot be enforced if people can simply hide their activities. Unfortunately, this interpretation of privacy rights has been largely forgotten, and most people now think of privacy rights as a protection for criminals, if they even bother to think about their rights at all.

        However, the law can only grant rights to the people; nobody can be forced to exercise them. These days, fewer and fewer people are bothering to keep any part of their lives private, and they are not stopping to think about the implications of mass numbers of people abandoning their rights. Worse, even those who do want privacy are finding it harder and harder to maintain, as their friends often post information online that they would not have posted themselves.

        Facebook by its very design worsens the situation. Facebook is designed not just to collect data, but also metadata which allows our privacy to be violated in an entirely new way. Information about our lives can be deduced from the metadata that Facebook is collecting, even information that we did not deliberately post to Facebook. It is possible to categorize not just who is friends with whom, but how close that friendship is, and in some cases even more details about the nature of friendship can be obtained. This information has never been truly secret of course, but Facebook is amassing it all, allowing the information to be accessed with ease and without arousing suspicious: whereas it once required a detective to infiltrate a social circle to extract this data, it can now be accessed without any field work.

        No, Facebook on its own will not lead to tyranny. It is the general trend, of which Facebook is not just a major enabler, but which Facebook is actively encouraging, that is the problem here.
    • by spun (1352) <loverevolutionary@nOSpam.yahoo.com> on Monday January 11, 2010 @06:24PM (#30729964) Journal

      Zuckerberg is trying to cover his ass. His site can't or won't provide proper access controls. His customers, the advertisers, don't want you to have privacy from them. So Mr. Zuckerberg, calling himself a 'prophet,' no less, tells you that you don't want privacy. But of course, Mr. Zuckerberg still wants his own privacy, and this 'no more privacy' world does not include corporations or governments, only individuals. Is there some easy way to find out who is advertising on facebook? No, and you can't find out what deals have been made regarding your information. So, privacy still exists, for those who can afford it. But not for us. Thank you Prophet Zuckerberg.

      • by idontgno (624372) on Monday January 11, 2010 @06:51PM (#30730304) Journal

        This.

        Zuck is saying "Facebooks's craptacular handling of privacy is not a bug, it's a feature. A very progressive, forward-leaning feature, for the inevitable time that the sheeples are appropriately brainwashed."

        The sad part is, I can't make myself believe he's wrong.

        • You see, that is the problem: people expect privacy. Those who don't understand that sites like Facebook won't enforce any kind of privacy put up things they never expect other people to be able to see. But when that assumption is shown to be false, the people who suffer for it learn. They learn they actually want privacy. But there are always more newcomers who think the online world will behave like the real world.

          In the end though, privacy will disappear. The question is only, will it disappear for every

        • by TheNumberSix (580081) <NumberSix@simpli ... EL.com_minusfood> on Monday January 11, 2010 @07:50PM (#30731030)
          I have a different experience with Facebook.

          I was never on the site, and after years of people asking me “Are you on Facebook?” or “I’ll send you the pictures on Facebook” and other such things, I decided that I should create an account, just to say I have one.

          Additionally, I’ve had people try to find me on the site repeatedly. Since I have a complicated name, people usually spell it wrong and try to find me a couple of times.

          So I decided that I’d create an account that would just say “Yes, you found me.”

          I didn’t want to use any features at all.

          So here’s what I wanted to do.

          - Create a public page with my real name on it.
          - Prevent anyone from adding anything to that page.
          - I didn’t want any email updates, status updates, wall pictures or anything else. In fact, don’t email me anything at all. Don’t change my page at all.
          - I wanted to automatically reject all “friend” requests. (I’m not going to use the site, remember.)

          I found so many settings in so many different places, that I decided that this was not easy to do. (Even if it is possible, which I’m not convinced about. Please feel free to correct me if I’m wrong on this.)

          So I decided that it just wasn’t worth the PITA to even try to set this up. So I’m still Facebook free.

          In this short experience, it seemed to me that Facebook has such poor privacy settings and UI that it’s doubtful that a novice can even set it the way he or she wants. I think it’s an open question if this is on purpose or by design.
  • That's bollocks, policy is in no way determined by a croporate honcho...
  • From posting on a town board "These people are my friends, this is what I enjoy, here are pics of me throwing up in the neighbors garden." If you set your policy to EVERYBODY, then EVERYBODY can look at it, including big bro.
    • The problem (Score:5, Insightful)

      by tempest69 (572798) on Monday January 11, 2010 @06:41PM (#30730190) Journal
      You can set it to where friends can see it, but the friends can share it, or comment on it, then the security model blows so much that anyone who can see that pic can see the whole album . They dont let the genie back in the bottle. It's bad form. The applications allow all sorts of horrible holes in security. Unveil the users number, and you can go trouncing through all sorts of FB apps that dont protect security.

      The problem is that they pretend to be securing you, when the reality is that it's a bathroom door level of security. A reasonably nerdy middle school kid can burn through facebook security.
      facebook didnt build a good security foundation, now they're paying for it.

      Storm

  • by Kiliani (816330) on Monday January 11, 2010 @06:13PM (#30729794)

    "Privacy is no longer a social norm ...". I suppose that's correct. Stupidity and ignorance have replaced it, among other things. But that's ok with me as long as I continue to have a choice. Besides, those new "norms" can make for good entertainment.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Eravnrekaree (467752)

      The argument that people voluntarily share data on facebook and that there is no more privacy or that privacy is no longer needed is broken and as a legal philosophy, is invalid. There was another slashdot article about one woman who that that people sharing data on facebook had abolished expectations of privacy. This is complete BS. Sharing data voluntarily on facebook by some in no ways would compel others to do so. True, some people voluntarily share data on facebook in awareness it is public. This does

  • by dyfet (154716) on Monday January 11, 2010 @06:13PM (#30729796) Homepage

    Whatever you have ever said or done will continue to be used against you for the rest of your life. That is the world this kind of thinking creates. It creates fear to think or act. Privacy is ultimately about liberty.

    • not only online when you know (and everyone knows) its fully public.

      but point-to-point phone calls, letters, packages you mail and even things you carry with you on flights; all those are now NOT private anymore. we lost our privacy due to the fear of people, overall. governments love to lock-down on rights and people seem quite willing to surrender their rights, if done at frog-boiling speeds.

      I don't mind *so much* that our public comms are being used against us. I do mind that even our private communic

    • The "new social contract" is the same as the old social contract, which boils down to "Obey your overlords, and they'll protect you unless it's more profitable for them to betray you." There is no such thing as a "social contract", and those who use such a nebulous concept to justify the intrusions of business, church, and state into the lives of individuals do so because "divine right" has been thoroughly discredited.
  • ...you can't expect your privacy to get in the way of me making a fat wad of cash in a future IPO.
  • by mbstone (457308) on Monday January 11, 2010 @06:14PM (#30729812)
  • by eln (21727) on Monday January 11, 2010 @06:15PM (#30729830) Homepage
    If privacy is such an outdated concept, Mr. Zuckerberg, why can't I see your friends list, your photos, or just about anything else on your Facebook page? Set everything to public on your own page, show everyone how silly privacy concerns are.
    • by sznupi (719324)

      As a matter of fact, wasn't there an incident with "leak" of few hundred photos from his personal Facebook profile? Why can't I access them?

      Better yet, he should spearhead new glorious times without any privacy! What are the addresses of webcams streaming his every moment? Can I have read-only access to his mailboxes/IM & SMS archive?

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by MichaelSmith (789609)

      Didn't he make a show of releasing this facebook page showing him doing a bunch of stupid but innocuous things? I just assumed it was put together to help him make this case.

  • by 0racle (667029) on Monday January 11, 2010 @06:16PM (#30729840)
    People still expect privacy, even Facebook/MySpace/whatever users. They just suffer from two things, an assumption that the Social Media outlets act in a responsible way keeping the information they submit confidential and a general misunderstanding that putting information on the Internet without any controls now makes that private information very public.

    People friend their friends on Facebook and blab about whatever as they would if they were talking to this person directly in a private context. They don't see that they have submitted the information where it is viewable and searchable by everyone and is being recorded and analyzed by the company for later sale as statistics. This is an indication of technology moving faster then the average person keeps up with, not that everyone is suddenly ok with being monitored.
  • by happy_place (632005) on Monday January 11, 2010 @06:16PM (#30729844) Homepage
    All this CEO is admitting is that he's unable to come up with a way to monetize his services without compromising people's privacy. The whole appeal of facebook, originally, was that it preserved privacy and kept the spammers to a minimum, when compared with MySpace. Now that Facebook is leaving one of its basic reasons for existing in the dust, someone else will come along and will replace it, and there'll be a mass migration to the latest thing. Just takes the next smart guy to create it. Perhaps it'll be based upon personal DRM. (Har har!) --Ray
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by WCLPeter (202497)

      someone else will come along and will replace it, and there'll be a mass migration to the latest thing.

      Yes, and then that new someone will have an overload of visitors and they'll need to buy more servers and bandwidth. The "customers" won't want to pay for it, just like they don't pay for it now. To keep the site from going under the new guy, who will by now have burned through most of their venture capital, will open up the floodgates on the massive data collected to advertisers. Then another new guy, who is pissed because the "site sold out", will create a new site and the whole thing starts over again

  • He's wrong (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mewsenews (251487) on Monday January 11, 2010 @06:16PM (#30729848) Homepage

    People do have an expectation of privacy that is at odds with what has been happening on the Internet. *Specifically* social networking sites like Facebook where there are real names attached to accounts and visible out in the open.

    I feel privileged to live in Canada where we've enshrined some of our expected privacy into law [privacyinfo.ca] to fight assholes like this. I hope the United States follows suit someday.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by pla (258480)
      *Specifically* social networking sites like Facebook where there are real names attached to accounts and visible out in the open.

      Advertisements? Real names? I don't know what all of you have started smoking, but two words: "Adblock" and "lie".

      "My" Facebook account has absolutely nothing to do with me. I made it as a place to placate friends who kept asking if I had a FB account - So I do, named after one of my pets, with not one single shred of information on it that links back to me (unless you alr
  • I expect privacy first and foremost. I expect the ability to share what I want with whom I want. I do not expect some social site to determine what's private in my life. This man is totally bonkers.

    Your computer and other data maintained by you is an extension of your home. It almost sounds like he's being influenced by Microsoft which would rather have the ability to look at you and everything you do with impunity. NO. I decide all things private and no one violates that because they are tired of try

    • by Migraineman (632203) on Monday January 11, 2010 @06:35PM (#30730108)
      Here's the problem - they are attempting to change society's "reasonable expectation of privacy." Many laws are based on this social expectation. For example, the police have the ability to execute warrantless searches if they see something "in plain sight." That "plain sight" element is coupled to your expectation of privacy - you put said item into plain sight, thus you have no expectation of privacy regarding it. If you go to a public park, your expectation of privacy is reduced because of the venue. Facebook is attempting to alter the rules regarding what "normal" expectations are. They will do this without your consent, and rip your privacy out from under you.

      Like your freedom, privacy is something you have to earn ... and sometimes fight for.
  • Ummm. Nooo (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Monkeedude1212 (1560403) on Monday January 11, 2010 @06:17PM (#30729862) Journal

    YOU* Defaulted US to share, not that we CHOSE to. I'm sure had you prompted each individual how private they want their settings when they first signed up, a lot of people would have chosen Friends, or friends of friends, or at least to a specific network (Like the local university).

    In fact, You** semi tried doing so not too long ago, and as I recall, A LOT of people then locked their photos and status updates to friends only. I know I did, and about 99% of my friends list did, and when I facebook search someone I met at a party, I have to grab a friend invite before I see anything besides their name and profile pic.

    You can't just set it up so that sharing is the norm, and when people use your product, then claim that its what is expected.

    *If not You Mark, then whoever is running Facebook Right now.
    **Subjective as above

  • Yes, people default to sharing, that's human nature. Collecting all that private personal data is very easy, true. In a similar way all house locks are easily pickable, and all phone calls are easily tapped into.

    Facebook could accommodate curious governments easily by providing "Yes, I want to share all my posts with government bodies and make them admissable in court as evidence." checkbox.

    If that checkbox is left unchecked, no government representative has the right to read anything by the user, and noth

  • by the_rajah (749499) * on Monday January 11, 2010 @06:18PM (#30729868) Homepage
    Facebook.
    • by dunezone (899268) on Monday January 11, 2010 @07:00PM (#30730440) Journal
      My account sits active with 2 photos, no applications, and the minimum personal information required.

      I use it to find family members and friends I need to get in contact with and also for event invitations which I think is its strongest value.

      Now why does this make me special? It doesn't, its the fact that the majority of my friends who used to have bucket loads of information, photos, and applications have since gone to a skeleton account like me. This makes us a loss, we bring no value to the site. The more and more people who do this, the lower the value of Facebook.
  • by goodmanj (234846) on Monday January 11, 2010 @06:19PM (#30729886)

    Facebook is designed from the ground up to be nonprivate. Since it doesn't allow you to distinguish between "work friends" and "party friends" and "closet friends", anyone with a brain will only post lowest-common-denominator acceptable comments to FB. If everyone is treating Facebook that way, there's no benefit to be gained by adding privacy to interactions that are already self-sanitized.

    But there are *plenty* of social interactions that *do* require an expectation of privacy, ranging from private sexual lives to the mere fact that I don't want my work colleagues to know about my Warcraft friends, or vice versa. But Zuckerberg doesn't see these sides of people, because they're not on Facebook.

    Jumping from "Facebook interactions don't need privacy" to "our society doesn't need privacy" is a fallacy of composition.

    • by CRCulver (715279) <crculver@christopherculver.com> on Monday January 11, 2010 @06:31PM (#30730062) Homepage

      Since it doesn't allow you to distinguish between "work friends" and "party friends" and "closet friends"

      It does if you set it. You can assign your friends to various lists, and then hide content from certain lists, making it visible only to those you wish to show it to. It's the most intuitive and flexible system sometimes, but it can still be used to ensure privacy. The problem is that people simply don't use these tools are much as you think. While corporate greed is an issue here, there's much truth to the idea that people nowadays are just natural attention whores, even when it's against their own best interest.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by nlawalker (804108)

        The problem is that it can't really get that much more intuitive or flexible. It's just a pain in the ass, plain and simple.

        Part of the problem is the attention-whore factor. I think the bigger factor is that people don't use the privacy controls because they're a chore. No one wants to take the time to segment their 1000+ lists of friends and set privacy controls for each group, so they just don't. Plus, Facebook is going to continue to find ways to mine data and make it available, which means new options

    • by Archangel Michael (180766) on Monday January 11, 2010 @07:07PM (#30730522) Journal

      Since it doesn't allow you to distinguish between "work friends" and "party friends" and "closet friends"

      What you want is compartmentalization of your life. In the days of old, this wasn't so much expected, but these days it is.

      I actually have several facebook accounts. One for goofing off. One for Friends and Family. One for work. And one for my extracurricular activities related to the website run.

      I've specifically created these accounts because of rules and legal ramifications of having them mixed.

      When someone can figure out how to get me a single account, with multiple access controls, then I'll consider using just ONE FB account.

      I can't imaging trying to use Twitter like this.

  • Facebook ensures that I know exactly what people I know think they know about me. If I want to keep something private, it doesn't get posted. This doesn't seem like a difficult concept...

  • I'm not interpreting that the same way, I guess.

    I still choose which photos (etc) to upload and what I comment on, in text. there is no 'default'. no camera is always-on; no microphone always on-capture. nothing auto-creating content from my daily life.

    wtf do you mean 'by default', then?

    fwiw, I do not participate in FB or MS. I severely limit which forums and blogs I contribute to. I'm always aware of the decision whether to publish something and under what level of exposure it will get. there is no '

  • by Ungrounded Lightning (62228) on Monday January 11, 2010 @06:21PM (#30729922) Journal

    But false to fact.

    The young generally have little experience with privacy and why it's important. Until they get bit by the consequences of excessive disclosure. Then they learn to value it.

    (It's not just Gen-Y-ers. It happened to me, and I'm a boomer - which means I predate the Internet by a bunch. B-b)

    Zuckerberg's business consists of making a lot of money by catering to those who have yet to learn the lesson. And management positions attract those for whom telling the truth when a lie is more convenient is also not a social norm. Of COURSE he'll make such claims. And they're sheer self-serving puffery.

    • by TheGratefulNet (143330) on Monday January 11, 2010 @06:44PM (#30730228)

      (mod parent up)

      I'm also of the older gen (cough...) and I can see this trainwreck from a mile away. as you get older, you DO have more and more 'stuff' about you that you'd rather not be searchable and public. trust me as your elder, on this (OB:GOML).

      privacy will come back - MAYBE - in another generation or two. once this one has grown up and found out the hard way, society might start to veer back a little bit. but it WILL take being burned for the kids to day to really find out. it will take at least a full generation before mankind is even partially used to this technology wave. its just moving TOO fast for us and our social fabric is not developed or ready for this kind of personal flood of info being broadcast into the never-deleted-from ether.

      be really careful with this 'show myself to the world' attitude. the whole idea could be a really bad idea and we may have to learn that lesson the hard way.

  • by Lilith's Heart-shape (1224784) on Monday January 11, 2010 @06:22PM (#30729936)
    Keep fucking with my privacy settings. Keep on assuming that I want to share everything with every jerkoff on Facebook. I'll just keep locking my shit down. And if you want to make that impossible, know that I lived happily without Facebook once. I can easily remember how to do so again. Remember your place while you still have one.
  • Someone grab the wheel please. The driver has fallen asleep.

    I think people are becoming more aware about privacy and facebook is slow to change. How many facebook "issues" lately are over privacy? Yet they seem to discount those criticisms and continue making changes that expose their users data to people that simply do not know them.

    Now sure all of this comes with a "caveat emptor" clause and these people share it all without thinking. But come on, at least make a good attempt at being responsible with you

  • by ground.zero.612 (1563557) on Monday January 11, 2010 @06:23PM (#30729948)

    Because I use my Facebook account to share events in my life, does not mean I am not concealing events in my life.

    I have an expectation of privacy. Especially in real life. I do not have the same expectations of privacy in public, or with information I post via internet servers which I do not own or control. There seems to be a lot of attempts to indoctrinate the youth with the concept that their lives are subject to peer review at all times. I disagree with these motives and find them totalitarian in nature.

  • by davecrusoe (861547) on Monday January 11, 2010 @06:25PM (#30729978) Homepage

    There is a difference between something that is not a social norm, and something that is not a primary consideration OR an option - until it's too late!

    Website and web service users seem very much open to trying new systems; and even letting people, typically friends, view their information. That's no big surprise, and predates websites like Facebook.

    On the other hand, websites like Facebook are increasingly opening users' data to the world - reacting to the data on their systems! - and providing users with limited opportunities to change that fact. Isn't it the case that Facebook recently added new "features", such as extended friend network update viewing, and then responded to privacy outcries by building-in limited mechanisms to control the privacy of information?

    Furthermore, users are keen to try services without really understanding the possibility that their information ISN'T private -- until it's too late. For example, the user who is rejected from a job application because of his/her photos and/or writing on Facebook is likely to restrict access in the future, as a response to the openness of their personal life.

    So: I reject Zuckerburg's notion that privacy is changing, and instead suggest that the nature in which private information is treated as private information, by companies that offer users services, is changing! Changing for the better of their wallets, without a doubt.

    Cheers,
    --Dave

  • by krou (1027572) on Monday January 11, 2010 @06:27PM (#30729992)

    Why Privacy Is Important

    • psychologically, people need private space. This applies in public as well as behind closed doors and drawn curtains. We need to be able to glance around, judge whether the people in the vicinity are a threat, and then perform actions that are potentially embarrassing, such as breaking wind, and jumping for joy;
    • sociologically, people need to be free to behave, and to associate with others, subject to broad social mores, but without the continual threat of being observed. Otherwise we reduce ourselves to the appalling, unhuman, constrained context that was imposed on people in countries behind the Iron Curtain and the Bamboo Curtain;
    • economically, people need to be free to innovate. International competition is fierce, so countries with high labour-costs need to be clever if they want to sustain their standard-of-living. And cleverness has to be continually reinvented;
    • politically, people need to be free to think, and argue, and act. Surveillance chills behaviour and speech, and threatens democracy.

    -- Roger Clarke [rogerclarke.com]

    Tyranny, whether it arises under threat of foreign physical attack or under constant domestic authoritative scrutiny, is still tyranny. Liberty requires security without intrusion, security plus privacy. Widespread police surveillance is the very definition of a police state. And that’s why we should champion privacy even when we have nothing to hide.
    - Bruce Schneir

  • by yakumo.unr (833476) on Monday January 11, 2010 @06:27PM (#30729994) Homepage

    Absolutely not true, he set up his site to default to no privacy, that is a COMPLETELY different matter, there are numerous huge groups and countless chain messages in protest of the badly chosen default privacy settings on facebook.

    And this from the man who openly admitted to pushing malware in some interview not so long ago to get his company off the ground.

  • by Thelasko (1196535) on Monday January 11, 2010 @06:31PM (#30730054) Journal
    we have finally defeated privacy!

    -Better Off Ted
  • On the internet. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by hyperion2010 (1587241) on Monday January 11, 2010 @06:31PM (#30730058)

    Thats all well and good Mark, but see there is this little problem, which is that 99% of all governments in the world (and probably 90% of all users on the internet) cant distinguish Internet from IRL and in fact are actively pushing them together in ways which should be quite alarming to long time net users. Lack of privacy would be fine if the government couldnt punish you for it, but they can. Every single legal system extant today has not sufficiently dealt with the realities of cheap and fast information, they were all constructed over hundreds (some times thousands for those of you living in countries following in the tradition of Roman law and Cannon law) of years where the basic assumption was the certain physical facts about the universe protected individuals from each other and from their government. That is no longer the case, and until it is we should all be very very cautious.

  • by j_f_chamblee (253315) on Monday January 11, 2010 @06:36PM (#30730124) Homepage Journal

    ...is 25 years old. One of the sentences in TFA begins "When I was in my dorm room at Harvard."

    So, a rich, successful, right-place-at-place-at-the-right-time twentysomething makes a self-serving comment born out of the hubris and inexperience of youth. This is like Paris Hilton saying "It doesn't matter what you do, as long as its *hot*" and it is only newsworthy because Paris Hilton isn't in a position to take a great deal of the intellectual capital I've invested in Facebook and simply passing it to whomever suits her fancy. Perhaps some of Zuckerberg's older business partners could recommend that he shut up.

  • Selection bias (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Kjella (173770) on Monday January 11, 2010 @06:37PM (#30730140) Homepage

    The people who want to live on Big Brother, but aren't trashy enough to get in on the show, feel free. And that's what this dude sees, he sees everything people do share. Hint: Lots and lots of people do lots and lots of things they don't put on Facebook. I'm on it, it's basically a contact page, I answer some event invites and that's pretty much it. send me another lame game invite and I'll gladly ignore it. My real life is far, far away from Facebook.

  • by selven (1556643) on Monday January 11, 2010 @06:45PM (#30730234)

    Information wants to be free. Once something is out there, on the internet, you can't put it back in the bottle. We cannot stop this, so we might as well adapt.

  • by Black Sabbath (118110) on Monday January 11, 2010 @06:47PM (#30730266) Homepage

    If this twat thinks that privacy is no longer a social norm, where's the video's of him masturbating to pictures of George Orwell? The blog describing his plushy fantasies. The tweets giving everyone blow-by-blow updates to the size of his bank balance.

    The reality is that even the unthinking morons that post pics/vids/words of themselves doing cringeworthy, career-limiting, dumb shit, STILL make a choice about what to post. There's still plenty of stuff that they don't want ANYONE knowing. The line may have moved over the last 20 years, but it hasn't disappeared.

  • education (Score:3, Insightful)

    by farble1670 (803356) on Monday January 11, 2010 @08:00PM (#30731140)

    this is more about education than anything else. don't post anything at all on facebook or any other online service that you don't want to share with everyone you know, and people you will know in the future. anything from your political views to your lifestyle can and will be used against you.

    it's commonplace for universities, businesses, etc to look you up on facebook and google and see what you are all about. it's up to you to conduct yourself on facebook in a manner befitting. don't post anything on facebook you wouldn't gladly offer up in a job interview, on your university application, or to a stranger on the street.

    i weep for all the kids these days who will have the indiscretions of their teen and pre-teen years come back to haunt them later in life. posted on facebook? it's now public data that will never, ever go away. i consider myself very lucky to be able to forget / hide some of the things i did in my youth. i am sure if i was a teenager today, i'd be right there posting pictures of my ass and making rude comments about my school instructors.

  • by flyneye (84093) on Tuesday January 12, 2010 @12:17AM (#30733240) Homepage

    Marky boy is only interested in furthering Mark Zuckerbergs agenda.
    If he were trying to dispose of human waste he would say eating crap is now the social norm.
    In a way he is spoon feeding it to any and all takers and true believers.
    He carries about as much credibility as Bono.

  • Flat out wrong (Score:3, Insightful)

    by FrozenGeek (1219968) on Tuesday January 12, 2010 @12:21AM (#30733264)
    Just because a small subset of the population holds privacy in no regard does not mean that the population as a whole, or even a majority of the population, does likewise. Among my adult friends, very very few bother with online social networking and the vast majority consider their privacy something to be cherished.

    DO NOT mistake something popular among the young to be the norm.

    We can certainly protect the individual right to privacy while providing for the right of the individual to abrogate his own privacy.
  • Here's a thought: (Score:3, Insightful)

    by xlsior (524145) on Tuesday January 12, 2010 @01:02AM (#30733518) Homepage
    Forget Facebook instead.

The meat is rotten, but the booze is holding out. Computer translation of "The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak."

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