Mark Zuckerberg's Privacy Flip Flop? Facebook CEO PRAISED Controls In 2008 (VIDEO)

05/13/2010 12:32 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

In recent months, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has drastically revamped his site's privacy policies with changes that make users' information far more public than before.

The site's privacy settings haven't always been so permissive, and a flashback to Mark Zuckerberg's 2008 keynote interview at SXSW highlights how much the CEO's attitude toward privacy and sharing seem to have changed.

In the 2008 SXSW keynote interview, Zuckerberg said that giving people more control over their information encourages them to share more.

We need to give people complete control over their information, which will actually enable more sharing. 25% of people on Facebook have their cell phone number shared, and that's because they can choose to only share it with their friends. Giving the control is what allows that sharing to take place. And the more people share, the more we can grow. Every mistake we've made has been because we didn't give people enough control.

(see video below, around the 25 minute mark)

Facebook would argue that the latest privacy changes actually do give users more control: the company has stated that it wants to offer the "most comprehensive and detailed controls" for their users and "precise controls for sharing on the Internet."

But in fact, for many, the dizzying number options is far too complex. The confusion of trying to navigate some 50 settings and over 170 options may lead many to leave their privacy controls on Facebook's default settings. (The new privacy policy is actually longer than the US Constitution.)

As Fast Company explains, "if you provide every conceivable permutation of privacy setting, you'll confuse the hell out of the people who just want to make one tiny bit of information invisible. That leads to users thinking, "screw it." And that comes to the same result: Facebook makes decisions for people."

Zuckerberg's 2010 interview with TechCrunch offers an additional glimpse at the the CEO's new view on privacy: he candidly announced that he believes the age of privacy is "over."

Facebook's default privacy settings have not always been so permissive and these changes mark a notable break from the site's earlier, more restrictive policies. See a visual guide to Facebook's privacy changes, as well as an explanation of Facebook's new privacy policies.


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