ReadWriteWeb’s Marshall Kirkpatrick calls shenanigans on Zuckerberg’s recent comments in response to a question about privacy during an interview. Zuckerberg’s rationale is that Facebook is changing to merely reflect the current norms. I think Kirkpatrick nails the problem with this reasoning.
I don’t buy Zuckerberg’s argument that Facebook is now only reflecting the changes that society is undergoing. I think Facebook itself is a major agent of social change and by acting otherwise Zuckerberg is being arrogant and condescending.
Regardless of the arrogant and condescending, this is actively dangerous. If one of the ways we frame privacy moving forward is our expectations of how personal data is used, then this sort of thinking will massively erode any ability to shore up legal protections for privacy. I have a couple of other links that I will discuss in today’s podcast exploring this conundrum further.
Kirkpatrick’s explanation also finally helps me put my finger on the problems with similar statements by Google’s Eric Schmidt and anything other than a fervent and genuine devotion to privacy protection by the search giant. As the one dominant search engine, even the smallest accidental misstep in this arena has massive knock on effects for how everyone else in the space acts with regards to norms and expectations.
In the meantime, read the rest of the article as Kirkpatrick also uses Facebook’s own past actions and policies to better expose what is actually an abrupt about face for the social network provider.