Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg Admits Privacy Gaffes

Facebook Users, Lawmakers Cry Foul Over Privacy Changes

But over the past few weeks, some of those data-sharing changes have drawn criticism from users, lawmakers and privacy advocates, who argue that Facebook needs to give its more than 400 million members more control over the personal information they share on the site.

Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y, and three other Democratic senators urged Facebook to reconsider its privacy changes and asked the Federal Trade Commission to create guidelines for Facebook and other social networks to follow.

Several high-profile personalities in the technology community publicly announced that they were deleting or deactivating their Facebook pages in response to the social network's new privacy policy.

Regular Facebook users have also indicated their frustrations with the company's changes on protest pages across the site. For example, a Facebook page called "Petition: Facebook, respect my privacy" has attracted more than 147,000 members.

More tech-savvy Facebook users have created dedicated websites intended to challenge Facebook's approach to privacy.

Website Aggregates All Public Facebook Info to Draw Attention to Privacy Policy

One site, called Openbook, aggregates all public Facebook posts into one constantly updated stream and lets visitors query the site for anything of interest. The founders said the point of the site is to draw attention to the amount of information about users Facebook makes public.

Another site, QuitFacebookDay, is trying to convince users to protest the company's privacy changes by quitting Facebook en masse on May 31. So far, more than 14,000 users have committed to quitting.

Prior to Zuckerberg's Washington Post column, Facebook vice president of privacy Elliot Schrage took part in a Q&A with readers of the New York Times to address privacy concerns.

"It's clear that despite our efforts, we are not doing a good enough job communicating the changes that we're making. Even worse, our extensive efforts to provide users greater control over what and how they share appear to be too confusing for some of our more than 400 million users. That's not acceptable or sustainable. But it's certainly fixable. You're pointing out things we need to fix," he said. "We will soon ramp up our efforts to provide better guidance to those confused about how to control sharing and maintain privacy."

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