Facebook Reorganization Said To Have Privacy Implications

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Facebook reportedly sent an internal memo to employees today regarding a major reorganization within the company around “key products”.

Liz Gannes at AllThingsD was able to get the exclusive on this with unnamed sources, and no readily available copy of the memo. She was also unable to get comment from the company. What she does report is that the memo went out today, the effort is about making Facebook “more nimble,” and that it integrates design, product and engineering teams around “key product areas like privacy and communication”.

Privacy is certainly a factor around every key product Facebook releases. As if this point hasn’t been driven home many times, a recent settlement with the Federal Trade Commission drove it even further.

Even since then, a Facebok privacy bug was spotted, which temporarily allowed access to private photos.

In response to the FTC ordeal, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg wrote a massive blog post, which talked about two new positions which were being created within the company to deal with privacy.

“Even further, effective today I am creating two new corporate officer roles to make sure our commitments will be reflected in what we do internally -- in the development of our products and the security of our systems -- and externally -- in the way we work collaboratively with regulators, government agencies and privacy groups from around the world,” he wrote.

Those would be Michael Richter, Chief Privacy Officer, Products and Erin Egan, Chief Privacy Officer, Policy - both lawyers.

“These two positions will further strengthen the processes that ensure that privacy control is built into our products and policies,” he added. “I'm proud to have two such strong individuals with so much privacy expertise serving in these roles.”

It will be interesting to see what the new reorganization in store, particularly in the privacy department, and particularly with the Timeline feature coming out (pending a legal battle), which is designed for users to basically put their whole lives on Facebook.

Update: Gannes posted a new statement from Facebook with some names:

“We can confirm that in order to streamline the product development process, we have reorganized our technical teams into product groups that report into Mark. These groups will be lead by Bret Taylor, Chris Cox, Greg Badros, Mike Schroepfer and Sam Lessin.”

Chris Crum
Chris Crum has been a part of the WebProNews team and the iEntry Network of B2B Publications since 2003. Follow Chris on Twitter, on StumbleUpon, on Pinterest and/or on Google: +Chris Crum.