Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook, has said that the growth of social networking over the last decade means that people no longer have an expectation of privacy.
The 25-year-old Facebook entrepreneur was speaking at TechCrunch's 'Crunchie' awards in San Francisco over the weekend and said that privacy was no longer a "social norm".
"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," said Zuckerberg.
"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?'
"Then in the last 5 or 6 years, blogging has taken off in a huge way, and just all these different services that have people sharing all this information."
By no coincidence at all, Facebook has recently changed the privacy settings of its 350 million users. Have you checked your settings recently?
"A lot of companies would be trapped by the conventions and their legacies of what they've built," said the Facebook founder.
"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."
Microsoft researcher and social networking expert Danah Boyd disagrees, having told the Guardian: "Kids have always cared about privacy, it's just that their notions of privacy look very different than adult notions."
We reported back in October how Zuckerberg was changing his thinking, and his position on, the private versus the public space on Facebook.
Is Facebook, or 'Facecrack' as many bored office workers refer to it these days, your favourite waste of time? If so, you might just want to check those privacy settings again…
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