Mark Zuckerberg Makes The Case For Facebook at D8

Facebook has been under fire of late because of growing privacy concerns amongst its users. At the centre of the debate is the company’s constantly changing privacy rules for existing Facebook users.  On occasion, the company has moved the default mode for sharing Internet-wide from an opt-out to an opt-in for both new and existing users.

At the D8 All Things Digital Technology Conference, Walt Mossberg asked Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg specifically about these changes from opt-out to opt-in. The feeling amongst detractors is that Zuckerberg is under great pressure to monetize his user base and has decided to shift from opt-out to opt-in to facilitate this.

Zuckerberg’s answers to Mossberg’s questions were vague. He fell back on trying to re-count how the management team has wrestled with these privacy concerns in creating new products while still growing at a breakneck pace. Clearly, this is an issue of trust since Facebook users share fairly intimate details of their lives with friends, family and colleagues. And as yet, these privacy concerns have not impeded Facebook’s growth. But, Facebook has its doubters as a post on Daily Finance reviewing Zuckerberg’s performance attests.

You can judge how well Zuckerberg did for yourself; two videos are embedded below courtesy of the Wall Street Journal.

D8 Video: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Privacy

D8 Video: Under Mark Zuckerberg’s Hoodie

  1. J. Powers says

    I’ve wondered how FB will fare once someone (or several thousand someones en masse) decide to contest who owns a profile. The bits in FB’s user agreements in which it purports to own and control anything uploaded to its servers are laughable. Personal information–especially identifying information such as address, phone number, photos of me, etc. clearly cannot “belong” to FB in any strict sense. It has certain use rights, but ownership rests with me. Same for anything created by me but published on their site. I would suggest that FB has use rights and fiduciary responsibility in approximate proportion to one another.

    Privacy issues on the internet have not been thought through clearly yet principally because there has not been a robust environment for testing ideas and principles. I suspect FB may be that site. Personally, I think Suckerman is a twat, but I think he’s floundering not because he’s stupid or shallow (and the guy really comes off as shallow), but because no one knows how to answer these questions. Ultimately, any serious attempt on the part of FB to expropriate user’s personal information will result in real damage to FB’s bottom line. Alternatives are available, and there is a line somewhere that can be crossed, although FB hasn’t yet crossed it.

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