True to Form, Facebook Backtracks, Promises Users More Control (some new, and some we used to have)

By now, this series of events is very familiar: Facebook launches new "feature" with little or no warning Feature is automatically activated for millions of users Users get confused and angry Backlash and criticism occurs; users threaten to leave Zuckerberg…

My Visceral Reaction to Zuckerberg’s Op-Ed

On Sunday, Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg finally broke his silence regarding the most recent spate of privacy problems with his social networking service, and published an op-ed in the Washington Post titled, "From Facebook, answering privacy concerns with new settings." I finally got around to giving it a close reading today, and my initial reaction was visceral -- it pissed me off. In just over 500 words, Zuckerberg succeeded in sounding condescending, bragging about things Facebook can't really brag about, and over-simplifying the core issues at hand. But in the end this doesn't matter, because I don't even think Facebook's 400 million users were the intended audience.

Science Friday: Protecting Your Privacy On Social Networking Sites

Last Friday (May 21, 2010), I had the great pleasure of being a guest on Science Friday, the weekly science and technology show hosted by Ira Flatow, airing live each Friday on NPR's popular Talk of the Nation radio show.…

Facebook (and others) Shares Identifiable Information with Advertisers

In Facebook’s vice president for public policy Elliot Schrage's infamous Q&A session with the New York Times readers, he made this statement: The privacy implications of our ads, unfortunately, appear to be widely misunderstood. People assume we’re sharing or even…

Facebook’s Zuckerberg: “Having two identities for yourself is an example of a lack of integrity”

Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg has a history of speaking his mind on privacy, and what he speaks is often fraught with problems, ignorance, and arrogance. But, today, I found a new statement that brings Zuckerberg's hubris to a new level: “Having two identities for yourself is an example of a lack of integrity.” According to Zuckerberg, the person responsible for the world's most popular website for sharing information about oneself, wanting to manage your flows of information in such a way that might present a different version of your "complete" self to your friends, family, co-workers, and more distant friends shows a lack of integrity. Zuckerberg must have skipped that class where Jung and Goffman were discussed...

Another Facebook Exec Talks About Privacy; Another Set of Gross Misunderstandings

In an attempt to stem the rising outrage over its most recent round of privacy failures — Instant Personalization & Connections — Facebook's vice president for public policy, Elliot Schrage, answered readers questions at The New York Times's Bits blog. As with other corporate expressions of Facebook's approach to privacy, his answers reveal a gross misunderstanding of the nature of privacy in our (social) networked world.

What Happens to Your Facebook Data When You Leave? (Updated)

Like many, I am considering leaving Facebook due to its most recent round of privacy failures -- Instant Personalization & Connections -- which represent only the latest in a continuing de-evolution of privacy protection on the popular social networking platform.…

More Details on Twitter-Library of Congress Deal

While my Freedom of Information Act request to the Library of Congress requesting a copy of its agreement with Twitter remains unanswered, interviews with Library personnel at The American Prospect and Ars Technica provide us some insight into the nature of the agreement and the plans for the data.