The ‘end of privacy’: Facebook founder

13:30 AEST Mon Jan 11 2010
3 days 22 hours 55 minutes ago
By ninemsn staff

Notions of privacy have radically shifted due to the popularity of social networking sites such as Facebook, according to its founder Mark Zuckerberg.

The 25 year-old Facebook CEO, who was speaking at an awards ceremony in San Francisco, said that privacy was “no longer a social norm” and that “people have really gotten comfortable not only sharing more information and different kinds, but more openly and with more people”.

According to a report in the Guardian newspaper, Zuckerberg’s comments are “not surprising” considering massive changes in Facebook’s privacy settings that affected many of the site’s 350 million users.

Zuckerberg said that when he started the site in 2004 for fellow Ivy League students, notions of privacy were vastly different.

He said people were less likely to want to share personal information with strangers on the web, but in the last “five or six” years the explosion of personal websites and blogs had redefined our privacy boundaries.

But the question remains whether notions of privacy have changed due to Facebook pushing users to be more open, with initiatives such as the introduction of the ‘news feed’ in 2006 — or whether the rise of other tools such as blogging has led to internet users becoming more relaxed with sharing information.

Marshall Kirkpatrick, of the technology industry blog ReadWriteWeb was quoted in the Guardian as saying that Facebook has been “complicit in ….changing the way people think about online privacy.”

Technology expert Om Malik had previously described changes in Facebook’s privacy settings as creating an equivalent of a “quasi-White Pages of the Web.”

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