Facebook: Striking Balance Between Privacy, Connectivity ‘A Matter Of Survival’

A Facebook representative told a Senate committee hearing on mobile privacy on Thursday that protecting consumer privacy was important to the company’s survival.“For Facebook — like other providers of social technologies — getting this balance right is not only the right thing to do, but a matter of survival,” Facebook’s Bret Taylor said in written testimony before the committee.

“At the same time, Facebook is fundamentally about sharing, and adopting overly restrictive policies will prevent our social features from functioning in the way that individuals expect and demand,” Taylor said in written testimony. Taylor is Facebook’s chief technology officer, the former CEO of FriendFeed, and co-creator of Google Maps.

Taylor said that to satisfy the expectations of Facebook users, they have to both protect their information but also “ensure that new protections do not interfere with people’s freedom to share and connect.”

“We need to continually evolve our services and the privacy safeguards included in them to respond to the feedback that we receive from the community and as required by law,” Taylor said.

Facebook, said Taylor, cannot adopt a “one-size-fits-all approach” to consumer privacy because “some people want to share everything with everyone, some want to share far less and with a small audience, and most fall somewhere in between.”

The company’s privacy practice, said Taylor, “help us build and maintain peoples trust as we continue to pioneer the new social and connectivity features that people who use Facebook expect and demand.”

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