Facebook Blames Riot Over Privacy On Media, Says Users "Love" The Changes

Ethan Beard of FacebookFacebook’s Ethan Beard says users don’t mind all the privacy changes

Photo: Adam Tinworth

Facebook is getting lots of heat about privacy lately.But a company exec told Computerworld that any complaining you’re hearing is not from real users.

It’s just noise from “media, organisations and officials.”

The noise all started when, at a developer conference last month, Facebook launched a product that, without asking users first, automatically shared their profile information with Pandora, Yelp, and Microsoft’s Docs.com.

At the same time, Facebook started requiring its users to join public groups based on the previously private “interests” listed on their profiles. (Importantly, users have the option of deleting these private interests instead of sharing them.)

Finally, this week, Facebook inadvertently exposed users to the private chats of other users for a couple hours.

There’s been howling from all corners.

  • The EFF published a story: “Facebook’s Eroding Privacy Policy: A Timeline.”
  • Senator Charles Schumer sent an open letter to the FTC complaining about Facebook.
  • Dan Yoder, VP of Engineering at Border Stylo, wrote an extremely popular post called, “10 Reasons To Delete Your Facebook Account.”

But during an interview with Computerworld, published today, Ethan Beard, director of Facebook’s developer network said, “the response from users speaks very, very loudly that they love what we’re doing.”

“I think there’s a lot of other talk that’s not coming from users necessarily. There’s been a lot of interest from the media, from organisations and officials. But to be honest, the user response has been overwhelmingly positive.”

Ethan says that Facebook users don’t use the site to store a bunch of private information they don’t want others to see. He said, “the reason that people use Facebook is to share information with their friends and to connect with things that are important to them.”

“Sharing is not inherently a private activity.”

What Ethan didn’t say, but should have, is that one reason users aren’t complaining about Facebook’s recent privacy changes is that really, normal people don’t really care about privacy any more.

That’s one of the 10 reason you’ll never quit Facebook.

Don’t miss: How to not publish sensitive information on Facebook >

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