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Facebook Grapples With Privacy Issues


Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg

Associated Press

A backlash over Facebook Inc.'s privacy practices has triggered disagreement inside the company that could force Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg to scale back efforts to encourage users to share more about themselves in public.

The social network has come under fire for a series of recent changes to its policies that have limited what users can keep private, as well as embarrassing technical glitches that exposed personal data.

Privacy advocates have called on regulators to intervene. Some frustrated users, meanwhile, have created websites that highlight what they see as shortcomings in Facebook's privacy controls.

The site's privacy travails have rattled Facebook employees and put pressure on Mr. Zuckerberg, who has argued for years that its users should be more open with their information. He has at times over-ruled employees who argue Facebook should make more information private, by default, according to people familiar with the matter. He has instead pushed to offer tools so users can control their information, these people said.

The privacy problems are piling up as the company, which is approaching 500 million users, grapples with how to build new services off all the data provided by users without offending users. The company is focused on ways to turn that vast amount of data into a multi-billion dollar ad-business.

From The Wall Street Journal
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