Facebook’s Privacy Changes Expose Founder Zuckerberg

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The early poster child for the controversial new changes to Facebook’s privacy policy? Facebook’s founder and CEO himself.

Facebook released a set of Dec. 9 changes to Facebook’s privacy policy that  includes a new set of Facebook user information in public search results, everything from the complete list of a user’s friends, to their group memberships and personal profile pictures. (TOSBack did a good comparison of the revisions.) Users logging into Facebook were prompted to revise their settings and had a chance to opt out, but the default options Facebook generated were liberal, putting inattentive users at risk of exposing more than they might want. Privacy advocates quickly dubbed the changes a “privacy rollback.”

But at least Facebook wasn’t two-faced about the change. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg opened up his own profile, a change Gawker immediately seized on, posting highlights of the 290 pictures of Zuckerberg that suddenly became visible. It’s a glimpse behind the scenes of the life of the hotshot Web billionaire, albeit not a particularly exciting one. Zuckerberg’s photos aren’t all that different than those of the typical college student: working, traveling and some lightweight debauchary. Lest anyone think Zuckerberg was simply tripped up by the change, it’s been nearly a day since the photos came out, and they’re still visible. We think he’s a willing example.

Still, if you don’t want to get Zuckerberged yourself, you can make sure you’ve rolled back the “rollback” by tweaking your profile’s privacy settings to bring your profile details and photos back behind the wall. But if these changes proved anything, it’s that there’s no guarantees Facebook won’t try and get you to be more open again.