Privacy a Facebook priority, says director Randi Zuckerberg

Oct 17, 2010 by W.G. Dunlop
Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg speaks during a news conference at Facebook headquarters on October 6, in Palo Alto, California. User privacy is the priority of Internet social networking site Facebook, which has come under fire from users for its privacy settings, the company's director of market development said on Sunday in Dubai.

User privacy is the priority for Internet social networking site Facebook, which has come under fire from users for its privacy settings, the company's director of market development said on Sunday in Dubai.

"Privacy, I would say, is the number one most important thing for our company, and we're always listening to feedback," Randi Zuckerberg, the sister of Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg, said on the first day of the GITEX information and communication technology exhibition.

"We've recently rolled out a lot of new updates and controls to privacy. You can now, every single time you post something, you can control who sees that. You can even pick certain people in your network, you can create lists," she said.

"We're always trying to listen to feedback and giving people more and more controls."

While Facebook has become the world's most popular social network with more than 500 million users, it has also been criticized for complex privacy controls and for requiring users to opt out of features that allowed access to their information.

Earlier this year, 14 privacy and consumer protection groups sent a letter to the US Congress saying "Facebook continues to manipulate the privacy settings of users and its own privacy policy so that it can take personal information provided by users for a limited purpose and make it widely available for commercial purposes."

In September, four New York University students launched a social networking site called "Diaspora," which is billed as the "privacy aware, personally controlled, do-it-all, open source social network," in an apparent bid to draw discontented Facebook users.

Complaints have led Facebook to modify its privacy controls.

Asked about whether the site has faced pressure to share information with governments, Zuckerberg said: "The only way that we would share any information is if there was an inquiry into criminal activity on Facebook" such as if "someone ... is behaving inappropriately to minors" on the site.

"Otherwise we are definitely not in any way passing information to any governments," she said.

The Middle East is home to about 15 percent of Facebook users, Zuckerberg said, with about two million in the United Arab Emirates, of which Dubai is a regional IT hub.

The site's users from around the world spend a total of about 500 billion minutes on the site per month, with half of users logging on each day, she said.

Facebook's origins have been the subject of two recent books and a hit Hollywood movie, "The Social Network."

Explore further: LinkedIn membership hits 300 million

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Facebook tops 350 million users, tightens privacy

Dec 02, 2009

Facebook is enhancing privacy controls and eliminating its regional framework for online communities as the Internet's most popular social networking service tops 350 million users.

Recommended for you

LinkedIn membership hits 300 million

Apr 18, 2014

The career-focused social network LinkedIn announced Friday it has 300 million members, with more than half the total outside the United States.

Researchers uncover likely creator of Bitcoin

Apr 18, 2014

The primary author of the celebrated Bitcoin paper, and therefore probable creator of Bitcoin, is most likely Nick Szabo, a blogger and former George Washington University law professor, according to students ...

White House updating online privacy policy

Apr 18, 2014

A new Obama administration privacy policy out Friday explains how the government will gather the user data of online visitors to WhiteHouse.gov, mobile apps and social media sites. It also clarifies that ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

Ex-Apple chief plans mobile phone for India

Former Apple chief executive John Sculley, whose marketing skills helped bring the personal computer to desktops worldwide, says he plans to launch a mobile phone in India to exploit its still largely untapped ...

A homemade solar lamp for developing countries

(Phys.org) —The solar lamp developed by the start-up LEDsafari is a more effective, safer, and less expensive form of illumination than the traditional oil lamp currently used by more than one billion people ...

UAE reports 12 new cases of MERS

Health authorities in the United Arab Emirates have announced 12 new cases of infection by the MERS coronavirus, but insisted the patients would be cured within two weeks.

NASA's space station Robonaut finally getting legs

Robonaut, the first out-of-this-world humanoid, is finally getting its space legs. For three years, Robonaut has had to manage from the waist up. This new pair of legs means the experimental robot—now stuck ...