Putting it mildly, Facebook has done a terrible job dealing with the myriad of privacy issues inherent with its social networking platform (see, for example, News Feed, Beacon, and indirectly, the TOS debacle).
I have frequently called on Facebook to engage more directly with issues of privacy within their services, but Mark Zuckerberg simply doesn’t get it, and their Chief Privacy Officer has largely been absent at best, and irrelevant at worst.
But hope springs eternal.
Facebook has hired Timothy Sparapani, a privacy specialist from the American Civil Liberties Union, as its new director of public policy. As the NY Times notes, Sparapani has “deep ties to some of [Facebook’s] loudest critics at organizations like the Center for Democracy and Technology, the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the Center for Digital Democracy.”
I had the pleasure of meeting Sparapani at a gathering of consumer advocates at Google earlier this year, and I am enthusiastic about the prospect of having a respected privacy advocate working within Facebook.