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Mark Zuckerberg on Facebook Privacy Issues: They're, uh, Working on It?

Mark Zuckerberg addresses privacy concerns Mark Zuckerberg provided some op-ed column inches in The Washington Post today, but, if you're interested in how exactly Facebook plans to retreat from the privacy-flaunting malware orgy that it's become, you might as well skip it. With short, declarative sentences, Zuckerberg employs standard CEO-speak: writing words without saying anything at all.
  • "We will keep focused on achieving our mission of giving people the power to share and making the world more open and connected."
  • "We already offer controls to limit the visibility of [your] information and we intend to make them even stronger."
  • "If people share more, the world will become more open and connected. And a world that's more open and connected is a better world."
Among the actual "news" that Zuckerberg offers, the CEO says, "In the coming weeks, we will add privacy controls that are much simpler to use. We will also give you an easy way to turn off all third-party services. We are working hard to make these changes available as soon as possible." We've heard that refrain before, Mark.

Addressing specific concerns was obviously not Zuckerberg's goal with this bit of placating PR. He does, however, note the "principles" under which Facebook operates, saying that Facebook will always be free, that the site won't share your information with advertisers or anyone else that "you don't want," and that users ultimately have control over how their information is shared.

That is to say you have the choice of whether or not to join Facebook and include your personal information. The vagaries of how accessible that information is to others, though, is really the key point of contention for most of us. Whether or not your photos get used in internal advertisements for the site is still an issue, as is what Facebook decides to add to your profile without your knowledge. And how advertisers access your information -- even if it is not sold or given to them directly by the company -- is not addressed in Zuckerberg's apologia for his site's failings. Plus, he doesn't even touch on the fact that Facebook has lately become a repository for phishing scams and malware. And don't even get us started on all of the privacy holes. What are you going to do about all that, Zuck?

"We will keep building, we will keep listening and we will continue to have a dialogue with everyone who cares enough about Facebook to share their ideas," he says. The word "dialogue" has become part of the empty vocabulary endemic in corporate culture. You realize, Mr. Zuckerberg, that "dialogue" implies a conversation, a two-way communication with your users? That's a little bit different from just waiting for your turn to speak. [From: The Washington Post]

Tags: facebook, FacebookPrivacy, MarkZuckerberg, privacy, security, top, WashingtonPost, web