Zuckerberg Lives, Is Sorry For Beacon

    December 5, 2007
    WebProNews Staff

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has finally come out from hiding after the two-week privacy donnybrook that ensued over the company’s marketing program Beacon. Zuckerberg posted his response on the Facebook blog. In short, he’s sorry.

Zuckerberg Lives, Is Sorry For Beacon
Zuckerberg Lives, Is Sorry For Beacon

"We simply did a bad job with this release, and I apologize for it," he writes.

Acknowledging that Facebook "missed the right balance" of information sharing and privacy, Zuckerberg announced that not only has Beacon been changed to an opt-in system, but that as of this morning users would also have the option of turning it off completely.

Seemingly responding to Robert Scoble’s blog post yesterday that Facebook PR had done a poor job handling the Beacon situation and that Zuckerberg had been MIA since the uproar began, Zuckerberg also acknowledged that they could have done better.

"It took us too long after people started contacting us to change the product so that users had to explicitly approve what they wanted to share. Instead of acting quickly, we took too long to decide on the right solution. I’m not proud of the way we’ve handled this situation and I know we can do better."

Activist group MoveOn.org initiated the campaign against Beacon just before Thanksgiving. Adam Green, in charge of civic action for the organization views Zuckerberg’s mea culpa as a positive step.

"Sites like Facebook are revolutionizing how we communicate with each other and organize around issues together in a 21st century democracy," Green told WebProNews. "The big question is: Will corporate advertisers get to write the rules of the Internet or will these new social networks protect our basic rights, like privacy?

"Facebook’s policy change was a big step in the right direction, and we hope it sets an important precedent in favor of Internet users’ rights that the entire industry follows."