Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg's defense
in the Washington Post against allegations of privacy
have left many of the Web's more suspicious tech blogger
- 'Too Little, Too
Late' Ars Technica's Jacqui Cheng asks, "is it too
little, too late? For longtime Facebook users, it's disappointing that
it has taken this long for the company to make serious changes. And,
given the company's recent track record, there's some chance that the
changes won't be enough to appease critics."
- We'll Believe It
When We See It Yahoo's Ben Patterson sighs, "Well,
as I'm sure Zuckerberg understands, people tend be believe actions more
than words, and a revamped set of simple, easy-to-use privacy controls —
including, say, the option to start from scratch and opt in to sharing
options rather than having to opt out — would be a step in the right
direction. But rebuilding trust with Facebook's users will be a long,
slow process, and the fewer privacy missteps between now and then, the
- Falls Short of Congressional Mandate BetaNews' Scott Fulton writes, "earlier
this month, Rep. Rick Boucher (D - Va.) introduced legislation that
would mandate that any act of personal information sharing between Web
sites be expressly indicated to the user at the time it happens,
with the user being given the option to stop it. Zuckerberg's solution
-- at least, to the extent he discussed it in the Post -- would
fall short of that mandate, opting instead to give users an extra option
to turn all third-party sharing off. Conceivably, that option may be
presented to all users upon logging into Facebook."
- 'Will Not
Satisfy Users at All' The Guardian's Charles Arthur says
Zuckerberg "stopped short of offering users the choice of opting in to
having all their information spread throughout the social network and
the internet – which may mean that the new settings will not satisfy
users after all."
- Column Missed the Point ReadWriteWeb's Sarah Perez fumes, "What wasn't
addressed [in the column] was why the need for clearer, easier-to-use
privacy settings became such an urgent matter in the first place. And
that is at the core of Facebook's steamroller approach to forcing people
into public sharing, a corporate philosophy that seems less about
impact to its bottom line and more about fulfilling Zuckerberg's
personal vision for a more social Web"
MediaMemo's Peter Kafka scoffs,
"Zuckerberg’s 528-word memo might seem contrite, but only if you skim
quickly. Read closely and you’ll see that it’s a classic nonapology–he’s
sorry that Facebook 'move[d] too fast.' That’s the kind of thing you
say in a job interview if someone’s lazy enough to ask you to describe
your biggest weakness–'Sometimes I try too hard.'"
Nothing Tech Crunch's Jason Kincaid predicts,
"expect them to try to push the envelope again in, oh, about six months.
Hopefully users will be better educated about their privacy and how to
control it when that time comes."
- Facebook Will Continue
Eroding Privacy Fast Company's Kit Eaton writes, "will Facebook
continue to erode the boundaries between your personal info on the site
and the public data it shares with the Web and its advertising
partners? Almost certainly. Will there continue to be embarrassing leaks
and security loopholes? Yes, of course. Zuckerberg's letter addresses
none of this--merely closing by promising Facebook is concerned about
your privacy, won't share your data with anyone, and will 'keep
listening' to its users."
- Facebook Being Too Reactive
ThreatPost's Dennis Fisher explains,
"One of the more trite and oft-repeated maxims in the software industry
goes something like this: We're not focusing on security because our
customers aren't asking for it. They want features and functionality.
When they ask for security, then we'll worry about it. Not only is this
philosophy doomed to failure, it's now being repeated in the realm of
privacy, with potentially disastrous effects. ... in order for real
change to occur, companies are going to have to take this problem
seriously and not treat it like an afterthought, the way that security
once was treated by software companies."
Want to add to this story? Let us know in comments
or send an email to the author at
mfisher at theatlantic dot com.
You can share ideas for stories on the Open Wire.