Mark Zuckerberg knows you. I mean, he really knows you.
The founder of Facebook, the social media behemoth with a user base the size of the United States population, sat down for a little chat with Techcrunch brainchild Michael Arrington to discuss his thoughts on what's public information and how much privacy any of us, especially those on Facebook, should expect in this day and age.
The short answer: Not much. Zuckerberg doesn't see privacy in today's world of constant updates as a "social norm" anymore. Here's a quick synopsis of Zuckerberg's take:
When I got started in my dorm room at Harvard, the question a lot of people asked was 'why would I want to put any information on the Internet at all? Why would I want to have a website?'
And then in the last 5 or 6 years, blogging has taken off in a huge way and all these different services that have people sharing all this information. People have really gotten comfortable not only sharing more information and different kinds, but more openly and with more people. That social norm is just something that has evolved over time.
We view it as our role in the system to constantly be innovating and be updating what our system is to reflect what the current social norms are.
A lot of companies would be trapped by the conventions and their legacies of what they've built, doing a privacy change - doing a privacy change for 350 million users is not the kind of thing that a lot of companies would do. But we viewed that as a really important thing, to always keep a beginner's mind and what would we do if we were starting the company now and we decided that these would be the social norms now and we just went for it.
Facebook and its privacy policies and murky content ownership decisions have bubbled up increasingly in the public consciousness of late. At a site where people feel free to post anything and everything about their lives - when did we become such exhibitionists? - to hear the driving force behind it eschew the strident need for privacy protection is, umm, an interesting public admission that bears cautionary attention.
But do you even care about privacy anymore? Or are you fine with status updating and geo-lacting and photo posting your way toward a completely open, available lifestyle?