Facebook Squirms Over 'Privacy Panic' Huddle

Meet part of usual 'open culture,' say nervous execs
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser Staff
Posted May 17, 2010 3:23 AM CDT
Facebook Squirms Over 'Privacy Panic' Huddle
Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerbergparticipates in a session at the Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum, WEF, in Davos, Switzerland, last year.   (AP Photo/KEYSTONE/Peter Klaunzer)

Facebook officials are scrambling to downplay an emergency meeting reportedly held to address mounting public fury as the company mines users' private information to boost profits. Senators have called on Facebook officials to rethink the latest privacy breaches, hordes of users are deleting their accounts and European Internet experts have called the changes "unacceptable," reports the BBC. But Facebook executives are insisting its company-wide meeting on the issue is merely a typical part of its "open culture," giving workers a chance to ask questions about the privacy changes.

Industry observers believe Facebook officials have "lost touch" with how critical the issue is. "Most of us got onto Facebook because we want to reconnect with old school friends, not worry about how our information is going to be used," said one media blogger. Peter Rojas, a founder of the gadget site gdgt.com, recently quit the site because he said he was spending "more time managing" his account than using it. Several Facebook alternatives are springing up, including the user-run system Diaspora being formulated by New York University students.
(More Facebook stories.)

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