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Mr. Zuckerberg goes to Washington; Facebook faces more privacy concerns

photo credit: London Evening Standard

Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg made his first trip to the Hill on Tuesday, meeting with Republican members of the Senate's high-tech task force and others to talk about Internet privacy and other tech issues.

Zuckerberg's private meetings came after a researcher released data on more than 100 million Facebook users, showing how easily it is to gather profile information about those users who are making their names, locations and e-mail addresses available to the public.

Federal regulators have become increasingly concerned about how data are being used and collected with no clear rules on protecting consumer privacy on the Web. Lawmakers have responded with proposed legislation to make that process more transparent and curb some of the practices of advertisers.

Facebook confirmed Zuckerberg's visit but didn't elaborate on the day of meetings.

"This is his first visit to the nation's capital in an official capacity and he looks forward to sharing our company's unique perspectives on 21st-century innovation, U.S. competitiveness, the economy and related issues with a range of interested parties," said spokesman Andrew Noyes.

Noyes declined to comment when asked whether Zuckerberg met with other lawmakers or regulators at the Federal Trade Commission or Federal Communications Commission.

Ron Bowes, a security researcher with Skull Security, said he collected profiles of Facebook users to show there is a "scary privacy issue" for users when their information is available to the public, according to his blog.

Facebook said it does not share its users' information with advertisers and that information collected by Bowes was already set as public by users.

By Cecilia Kang  |  July 29, 2010; 8:13 AM ET
Categories:  FCC , FTC , Facebook , Privacy  
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Posted by: strawmanboater | July 29, 2010 11:38 AM | Report abuse

There is no better way to uncover lunatics that are dangerous to others then the use of the Internet anger index. Blog entries are given a rating of 1-5, those that constantly show signs of extreme anger are given a rating of 5. At that point their names are entered into a special data bank and they are carefully monitored.

Posted by: morristhewise | July 29, 2010 1:33 PM | Report abuse

"Facebook said it does not share its users' information with advertisers and that information collected by Bowes was already set as public by users."

How clever! The reason many pieces of data are set as public is that this is typically Facebook's default setting for many attributes, which takes a lot of time to navigate through their complicated, ever-changing menus to identify.

Posted by: avathaar | July 29, 2010 4:00 PM | Report abuse

This guy is one of the most dishonest people I've seen in a very long time.

Posted by: Nymous | July 30, 2010 9:57 AM | Report abuse

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