Google CEO Eric Schmidt is handing the company’s reins over to co-founder Larry Page in April, and to commemorate the event, The Wall Street Journal has compiled a greatest hits collection of Schmidt quotes. No, he didn’t say “don’t be evil.” He did, however, say that the Google has a policy to “get right up to the creepy line but not cross it.”
privacy is an illusion
Facebook updated its Groups feature this week, making it easier for your friends to create new groups and add you to them — without asking you first. As Mahalo CEO Jason Calacanis discovered, this means a long-forgotten “friend” can make you a member of just about anything, even a group known by the acronym NAMBLA.
Echoing (or is that just endlessly repeating?) comments made by his minions last week, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg today said that the company “missed the mark” with its complex privacy controls, and vowed to give users a “simpler way to control your information.”
Confirming rumors that began trickling out earlier this week, Facebook today said that it would make its privacy controls easier to use. But the company stopped short of adding any specifics, and didn’t lay out a timetable for the changes. Oh, and Facebook has also been caught handing over some allegedly private data to big advertisers. And did we mention the hack that could delete all your friends?
Facing mounting criticism that its privacy settings have become overly complex, Facebook is now considering changes “for users who want simplistic bands of privacy that they can choose from.” It’s unclear, however, whether the planned changes will provide more options for users who don’t want to share certain information, or just make the existing choices easier to access.
After two security glitches were revealed today, Facebook was forced to shut down chat functions while it worked on a fix. One bug allowed users to see allegedly private chats, while another exposed pending friend requests. Facebook didn’t notify users whose accounts may have been compromised, presumably because, hey, they’re Facebook, and they don’t have to.
Citing lengthy privacy policies, confusing information about how personal data is used, and a lack of transparency in behavioral marketing campaigns, Maneesha Mithal of the Federal Trade Commission declared the current Internet consumer privacy system “broken,” and said the agency is working on a series of recommendations to help fix it.
FBI chief Robert Mueller wants ISPs to track everything their customers do on the Internet, and keep those records for two years. The government plan would give the FBI access to “origin and destination information” for all users. Hey, at least they’re not doing it in secret and lying about it.