Jun 3, 2010

Nixon Moment for Facebook

Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg sweated profusely as he was questioned about recent privacy failures on the same stage on which Apple chief executive Steve Jobs a day earlier was forced to deny his company's Chinese factories were "sweatshops".

During an interview at the D: All Things Digital conference, Zuckerberg, described on the NYTimes.com Bits blog as being "visibly uncomfortable and sweating profusely", defended his company against claims it was forcing users to make more and more information available publicly and to third-party websites.

Reuters noted that "Zuckerberg began visibly perspiring, to the point that All Things Digital's Kara Swisher had to ask if he was all right". MarketWatch called it his "Richard Nixon" moment.

That's all great and good - but let's review here. Facebook is a free service that's similar to Classmates.com but without the annoying fees attached to it. You freely plug in information, pictures and all kinds of personal information and then are SHOCKED to find out that he's selling it to anyone with a checkbook? I even did a special report when an HR site called Spokeo.com was culling info for your potential employers to spy on you -- using, mostly, info you have freely given up on sites like Facebook.

The company doesn't care about your privacy, and thrives when you don't know how to change the settings. And if you really did care about privacy, the last place you should be visiting and posting anything would be Facebook.

Meanwhile, the billionaire kid is sweating because it's the first time anyone ever asked him a tough question about his business plan. Everyone else who asks him about it is profiting from the flow of information he's getting out of his users. Again, Billionaire, Mark Zuckerber.

Hold on, I have to update my status.

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