Facebook CEO quizzed over privacy issues at D8 conference

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg appeared on stage yesterday at the All Things Digital conference.

The Facebook chief was quizzed on a variety of important privacy concerns that have been highlighted in recent months. Zuckerberg admitted that over time Facebook's privacy settings had become too complex. "Privacy is a really important issue for us and for the Internet. We spend a lot of time thinking about these things.", Zuckerberg said.

When questioned on opt in or opt out settings, Zuckerberg was insistent that Facebook asks users to control their privacy settings. "We ask that people review their settings and make a choice for what they want their settings to be", he said. Zuckerberg admitted the company has a hard time building products that people use to share information and ensuring that all the products have privacy settings that users can control.

Zuckerberg also looked back on previous controversies surrounding Facebook. He revealed that 10% of Facebook users protested against the news feed when it was originally introduced. Zuckerberg says news feed is critical to Facebook now and that it would be "pretty crazy" if you signed up to Facebook and had to choose individual features to turn on.

The Facebook CEO looked visibly uncomfortable and sweated profusely according to The New York Times who said Zuckerberg was very much in the hot seat.

Zuckerberg defended the perception that Facebook is on a course to push people's information into a position where it's visible across the Internet. "In terms of the settings that we have, I think that there are some misperceptions, umm, and then some of it I think is in line with what we're trying to do. There have been misperceptions that say that we're trying to make all of the information open or something like that, that's completely false."

"My prediction would be that a few years from now, we'll look back and wonder why there was ever this time when all these websites and applications whether they are mobile applications or websites weren't personalised in some way. Whether it's through social plugins or connect or instant personalization or whatever programs other companies come out with. I just think that the world is moving in this direction where things are going to be designed more around people and I think that it's going to be a really powerful direction."

Image Credit: Asa Mathat | All Things Digital

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16 Comments

neufuse said,
wow... sweating that much, what is he hiding?

It's all about selling as much user information as possible and making loads of money.

neufuse said,
wow... sweating that much, what is he hiding?
Nervous on stage? He doesn't have to be hiding/avoiding something...

He looks very nervous....but then he also looks like he's barely 20...

Good for him that he managed to get that kind of success though!

asdavis10 said,
I'm waiting for people to rip into him for not wearing a suit and tie the same way they ripped into Jobs.

Dammit why wasn't he wearing a suit and tie, as the face of his information selling company and that other thing - face-something-or-other, he should have dressed nicer....

Happy now,

Please. The privacy settings have never been that confusing. Sure, there are a lot of them, and they like to add new features without regard for your current settings, but if you can't be bothered to go through each setting page and figure it out, you're just a dunce. Also, if you're that worried, you shouldn't be on facebook.

spenser.d said,
Please. The privacy settings have never been that confusing. Sure, there are a lot of them, and they like to add new features without regard for your current settings, but if you can't be bothered to go through each setting page and figure it out, you're just a dunce. Also, if you're that worried, you shouldn't be on facebook.

Totally agree... I have NEVER had a hard time configuring it just like I wanted and I reviewed it every time it was changed. Even my wife who is significantly less tech savvy than me (and most of all of us here) handled her own settings just fine.

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