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Facebook Calls All-Hands Meeting On Privacy 302

CWmike writes "A Facebook spokesman said that the company will hold an all-staff meeting on Thursday to discuss privacy issues, but would not say whether executives are looking to make significant changes to the popular site's highly contentious privacy policies following a bevy of changes to the service." (More, below.)
"In an interview with Computerworld last week, Ethan Beard, director of the site's developer network, defended Facebook's policies and even said users love the changes that Facebook has made. However, it seems calls for people to delete their Facebook accounts, which have gathered momentum, have not fallen on deaf ears at the company. Adding to the perception of a crisis on hand, the NY Times profiled on Wednesday a project called Diaspora, which is creating a more private, decentralized alternative to Facebook."
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Facebook Calls All-Hands Meeting On Privacy

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  • Re:Limey (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Jafafa Hots ( 580169 ) on Thursday May 13, 2010 @06:59PM (#32201564) Homepage Journal

    Those bastards shouldn't be holding meetings in secret, after all, this is about PRIVACY for god's sake!

  • Re:Limey (Score:3, Interesting)

    by negRo_slim ( 636783 ) <> on Thursday May 13, 2010 @07:01PM (#32201588) Homepage

    "Our eyes and minds are being sold to advertisers and you don't find that troubling?"

    For a second I thought you were referring to the TV and Radio broadcast industry as it has existed for the last... oh,70 to 80 years?

    Exactly the way privacy has been dealt with and our acceptance of pervasive advertising has been troubling for a long time now, why all the hoopla about a closed network you opt into I'll never understand,

  • Gander, Goose (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anne_Nonymous ( 313852 ) on Thursday May 13, 2010 @07:04PM (#32201610) Homepage Journal

    I wonder if they'd care to post a transcript of the meeting to their own website.

  • by rsborg ( 111459 ) on Thursday May 13, 2010 @07:04PM (#32201614) Homepage
    Link []:

    Zuck: Yeah so if you ever need info about anyone at Harvard
    Zuck: Just ask.
    Zuck: I have over 4,000 emails, pictures, addresses, SNS
    [Redacted Friend's Name]: What? How'd you manage that one?
    Zuck: People just submitted it.
    Zuck: I don't know why.
    Zuck: They "trust me"
    Zuck: Dumb fucks.

    Wonder how much this new released IM thread has to do with this "All-Hands".

  • by Pojut ( 1027544 ) on Thursday May 13, 2010 @07:05PM (#32201638) Homepage

    If they offered the option of a subscription service, and in return I got no advertising and had complete control over my privacy settings, I would totally do it. I use Facebook a lot, not just to interact with my friends, but to get the word out about updates to my website and new music tracks I make. $5-$10 a month for something as ubiquitous as Facebook would be well worth the money, in my opinion.

  • by meatron ( 1718302 ) on Thursday May 13, 2010 @07:11PM (#32201694)
    according to this blog [] all you have to do is put a dick as your profile picture, and they do the work for you... no more photos tagged, everything gone. pretty simple.
  • Re:Limey (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Jafafa Hots ( 580169 ) on Thursday May 13, 2010 @07:11PM (#32201702) Homepage Journal

    Well, until recently (DirecTV and shit) TV at least didn't watch you back.

    Come to think of it, the internet is kind of an Orwellian sort of TV, isn't it?

  • by Boss Sauce ( 655550 ) on Thursday May 13, 2010 @07:13PM (#32201726) Homepage Journal
    First came MySpace, and when people realized Facebook suited them better, they saw MySpace as the pile of crap software that it really was. Now Facebook is falling victim to its own success, and people are seeing its limits and pitfalls, looking for the next thing as Facebook tries to monetize their personal information. What will it be? Probably not something called "diaspora*" in spite of its founders' apparent good intentions: despite the upbeat definition they picked, most people associate diaspora with slavery, oppression, and other painful historical memories. Seriously: what's next?
  • by twidarkling ( 1537077 ) on Thursday May 13, 2010 @07:14PM (#32201746)

    You don't "depart" facebook. You can't delete your profile. Trust me. I tried. The best you can do is remove *most* of the information, and try and falsify the rest, and then hope they don't go too far in to the backups to get your old information.

  • by rAiNsT0rm ( 877553 ) on Thursday May 13, 2010 @07:15PM (#32201754) Homepage

    I have never liked or respected Zuckerberg, he is delusional and dangerous. Greed + ego never ends well and add youth to that and you have a complete nightmare. Sadly I have close friends and family spread out over the globe and Facebook is one of the best ways for us to stay in touch right now. Hopefully that changes soon, but in the meantime I have removed everything from my profile and have suggested others do the same.

  • by One Louder ( 595430 ) on Thursday May 13, 2010 @07:30PM (#32201886)
    ... and what are their names and addresses?
  • by seebs ( 15766 ) on Thursday May 13, 2010 @07:37PM (#32201950) Homepage

    Facebook and Blizzard recently announced a cooperative effort.

    In prior days, Blizzard had publicized plans to include cross-game chat and the ability to mark people as friends (rather than individual characters), so you could see when your friends were on. Much was made about the importance of the privacy features that would make this secure, safe, and usable.

    Then they announced that:

    1. It would be done in conjunction with Facebook.
    2. The only way to invite someone would be to send an invitation to the email address which is used as that person's login name for the service. (Blizzard has in the past told people to use a special email address just for that, and not to share it with anyone.)
    3. Your real name, as on your billing info, will be shown to all your friends.
    4. Also, your real name, as on your billing info, will be shown to all your friends-of-friends.

    The service is "optional", but the only option available is to not use it at all -- even though these are features which would be EXTREMELY desireable to many users, if they didn't come with the privacy problems. Furthermore, a recent glitch during the Starcraft 2 beta allowed ANY user to see ANY user's full name -- whether or not they were friends.

    So I'm pretty sure Facebook is doing the wrong thing thus far, and if they don't change that, I suspect they will start losing popularity faster than they're gaining it. I'm certainly starting to think seriously about deleting my account there over this crap.

  • by Wyatt Earp ( 1029 ) on Thursday May 13, 2010 @07:38PM (#32201962)

    I don't agree.

    Example - I was in Israel 16 years ago, made some friends and when I came back to the States I lost track of them.

    Facebook - I just happen on doing a search for one of the places I lived there, found a community of other ex pats who'd been there over the decades and found a couple drinking bodies from 16 years ago, caught up with them.

    I couldn't have done that with email or IM.

  • Re:Limey (Score:5, Interesting)

    by PopeRatzo ( 965947 ) * on Thursday May 13, 2010 @07:41PM (#32201990) Journal

    Come to think of it, the internet is kind of an Orwellian sort of TV, isn't it?

    It didn't start out that way.

    In fact, it didn't even start to move in that direction until big business and telecommunications decided that there was billions to be made and that the hippies and programmers and college students couldn't be trusted with this powerful new tool.

    Do you remember when there were dozens of ISPs in every big town? Little shops would open up in a storefront offering everything from dialup to T1. You'd get your connection and do with it what you would. Where did they all go? And before you tell me all the huge technical innovations that the corporate world has brought to the internet, remember that there was IRC before anyone knew what a "text message" even was. The big contribution of the corporate world to the internet? Television! I can watch Jersey Shore over the internet! Big fucking deal.

    Government made the internet, and they goddamn well better get a handle on the corporate takeover of it before it turns completely into cable television.

  • Re:Too Late (Score:5, Interesting)

    by __aajfby9338 ( 725054 ) on Thursday May 13, 2010 @08:00PM (#32202168)

    You're not the only one who has opted out of Facebook. About a week ago, I deleted all of my pictures, all of my old posts (that took a lot of clicking), all of my group affiliations, and almost all of my personal information. I'll maintain the account just to let people I've lost touch with find me. The only things I post there now are links to stories about what's wrong with Facebook, and its potential replacements. I won't comment on or click "like" on anybody else's postings. I've changed my bio information to state that I do not approve of Facebook's privacy policy changes and that I'm only maintaining my account to allow old friends to make initial contact with me.

    The recent news about diaspora [] interests me, and I'll be keeping my eye on that project. I'm looking forward to seeing what they come out with at the end of summer. I enjoyed using Facebook until their privacy policy changes led me to stop, and I hope to see future social media options that lack Facebook's undesirable features and policies.

  • Re:Limey (Score:3, Interesting)

    by zblack_eagle ( 971870 ) on Thursday May 13, 2010 @08:05PM (#32202196)

    We are not the consumers any more, we are the product.

    Consumers are the product. Advertisers deliver this product to their customers. The way I've always heard the term "consumers" used in the media reminds me of cattle. Every producer and provider wants as much consumer pie as it can eat, and we best not spook the consumer or it'll take a break from its mindless consumption.

    But if you meant that we aren't the customers any more; you're right, we aren't. Being a customer is what you want to be, not a consumer.

  • by moore.dustin ( 942289 ) on Thursday May 13, 2010 @08:40PM (#32202472) Homepage
    The topic of discussion at my networking group this morning was Facebook and we were not talking about how to make money with it. People were wondering about issues they had not known to even worry about until the latest big stink about privacy issues. Over the last year or two, only Fan pages and the like were discussed as they looked to leverage the network to make money. After failing to see any value in using Facebook for their business, most ignored the topic for several months until just recently. Now this morning it is brought up and people are going home to think about deleting their account, not setting up a page for their business.
  • by Muggins the Mad ( 27719 ) on Thursday May 13, 2010 @09:01PM (#32202660)

    My opinion is that if you post personally identifiable information to a public website, and expect that information to be kept from all the world's eyeballs, you're being incredibly foolish.

    The problem is you can't control what other people post.

    I create an account with just my name and use it to keep in touch with my friends and family.

    It doesn't take long before someone posts a photo from my birthday party and annotates my name. A quick grab of my friends list reveals some workmates, one of whom has a map of the office.

    so without me doing anything but putting up my name and a list of friends, anyone can now work out where I live, work, when my birthday is, and what I look like.

    I deleted my FB profile a while back and am glad I did.

    - Muggins

  • Re:Limey (Score:3, Interesting)

    by gangien ( 151940 ) on Thursday May 13, 2010 @09:52PM (#32203004) Homepage

    You may remember the dot com bubble? lots of things were over invested in.. including ISPs.

    I don't think you could say with a straight face the internet was as remotely as usable as it is today or had the wealth of information it does today. Of course not all of that because of the big corporations, but much of it is. MSN, AIM, games, bunch of stuff from google all things I use on a daily basis.

    Your nostalgia is showing.

  • Re:Limey (Score:5, Interesting)

    by grrrl ( 110084 ) on Thursday May 13, 2010 @10:16PM (#32203116)

    Well said. "We may change the terms of service at any time" is a clause that lets companies get away with whatever they want.

    I recently noticed, purely by accident but thankfully in time, a bait-and-switch type terms and conditions change for the Woolworths/QANTAS frequent flyer program card. When signing up for the program I checked there was no selling of data to third party sources for advertising etc. Then they changed the conditions to add just that! I immediately rang and cancelled my account (I hate being sent advertising in the mail, not to mention the disgusting waste of resources it represents). But with no actual notification of such changes, via mail, email or otherwise, (I just happened to look at their website on that day) most people would not even know and would probably be shocked to realise the change of terms to include such a bastardly clause after the fact.

  • Re:Limey (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Culture20 ( 968837 ) on Thursday May 13, 2010 @10:27PM (#32203160)

    You may remember the dot com bubble? lots of things were over invested in.. including ISPs. I don't think you could say with a straight face the internet was as remotely as usable as it is today or had the wealth of information it does today.

    Internet then: See my Dog on the WWW! Type in #.#.#.# into the location field in Mosaic (install Mosaic from this floppy).
    Internet now: See my Dog on Facebook! Go to, make an account, friend me, wait for confirmation, then click on albums, and my dog's album.

    What a difference.

  • by EdIII ( 1114411 ) on Thursday May 13, 2010 @10:50PM (#32203320)

    I would delete my account.... but.... why?

    The name on the account is fake. Email address used to sign up is a fake one-off account I log into once in awhile to keep active just for Facebook. Nobody I know in real life knows the name on my Facebook account. I have never connected up to facebook with the actual IP address of my current location.

    It was only ever for Mafia Wars, of which, I have thousands of Facebook "friends" now.

    So once again, I question why I would want to delete it at all? Probably a pretty good bet that a good percentage of the alleged 400 million Facebook users are just bullshit accounts set up for a purpose other than using Facebook as it was intended.

    In fact, I bet if Zynga were to pick up and leave that half of Facebook would be gone with them.

  • by daveime ( 1253762 ) on Friday May 14, 2010 @04:18AM (#32204780)

    Your personal choices and affiliations are your business ... I was merely trying to make the point that the 0.01% of Facebook users who DO care about privacy does NOT make the issue "highly contentious". Perhaps a "vocal minority" would have been a better description.

  • Re:Limey (Score:3, Interesting)

    by MindlessAutomata ( 1282944 ) on Friday May 14, 2010 @04:58AM (#32204930)

    Quit painting "corporate" America as the evil and "government" as the good slayer of dragons; they're a two-headed beast, often times the two are indistinguishable. It is government law, after all, that makes the corporation a limited-liability organization. Where men go to jail for, corporations may only get a fine, if that. It's not that corporations are a corrupting influence on good and righteous government, it's that there is no such thing as good and righteous government anymore than communism is a realistic political system. Both "enlightened democracy" and "communism" fail because they simply don't work in practice. It's just part of our social mythos to pretend that one is more feasible than the other. People bitching about corporations using massive amounts of money to "bend" government to its will like to put all the blame on corporations and none on government for ideological reasons, but corporate cash isn't like some magical force. There's a reason it's working, and it's because both groups are pigs. It takes the exact kind of faith in "god" to have faith in "government. (or, corporations, but nobody has faith in those)." Corporations will use government, and government will use corporations for its own ends. A corporation alone, at least, can be avoided in some way without threat of jail/fine (except in the cases of insurance in certain areas, where the government wants you to purchase them to help their insurance lobbyists out, thank Obama for the newest implementation of this).

    And I'm not sure what the hell your complaint is even supposed to be. Corporations are offering TV show content over the internet...? That's your idea of oppression, is the presence of that content? I don't think the smaller ISPs or dialup ISPs were really adding great innovations to the internet, either, unless you want to somehow glorify AOL during its heyday, or services like Prodigy that offered rather lame games and cheesy news portals. Maybe you should re-state your complaint, because I'm at a loss how merely offering TV is subjugating the masses. I'm not sure if government controlling the internet is anymore of a solution to whatever the problem is supposed to be, considering corporations can't and don't jail or censor the way the government does (e.g., how governments respond to wikileaks).

    I find it "curious" that this corporate takeover happened exactly when slow and shitty dialup died and DSL and Cable became popular. I guess there is something inherent in broadband that let the big mean corporations rise up. Oh, if only we were back in the dialup days.... Yes, I'm being facetious, but the internet then was a lot shittier than the internet now, not in term of content (geocities, shitty message board software, etc) but technology and implementation-wise it's just plain superior. So what am I supposed to conclude from THIS? That the corporations... improved things? (note: most ISPs even then were corporate-owned; I think you just really hate the word "corporate," so I can't be sure what you even mean by it).

    Not only are you being extremely and ridiculously selective in the "downsides" of today's internet and its "upsides" then, but you haven't even given a moment's thought to why it could be that telecoms/cable providers control internet access nowadays other than some sort of nefarious evil scheme. Perhaps it's just because they controlled the means to provide faster-than-dialup service from the get-go; dial-up, after all, traveled through the phone lines...

  • Re:Limey (Score:4, Interesting)

    by betterunixthanunix ( 980855 ) on Friday May 14, 2010 @07:19AM (#32205496)
    "instead of relying on geocities people register their own .com easily and affordably"

    There was a time when you could register a .com at no cost.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 14, 2010 @11:48AM (#32207954)
    I've heard rumors that that's going to, in fact, happen. I hate to quote Fox News, but here you go: []

"Well, it don't make the sun shine, but at least it don't deepen the shit." -- Straiter Empy, in _Riddley_Walker_ by Russell Hoban