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Mark Zuckerberg has admitted Facebook has made ‘mistakes’ as he seeks world domination in the social networking world. “I founded Facebook on the idea that people want to share and connect with people in their lives, but to do this everyone needs complete control over who they share with at all times,” he wrote on FB blog today.

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However, as Facebook has grown arms and legs sharing photos, creating groups, commenting on and liking posts, things have got messy.

“With each new tool, we’ve added new privacy controls to ensure that you continue to have complete control over who sees everything you share,” he insists.

“That said, I’m the first to admit that we’ve made a bunch of mistakes,” he adds, citing serious errors like ‘Beacon’ and the new privacy settings added in December 2009, which made make users’ profile details including status, name and pictures public by default – without even asking permission.

“In particular, I think that a small number of high profile mistakes, like Beacon four years ago and poor execution as we transitioned our privacy model two years ago, have often overshadowed much of the good work we’ve done.”

However, he concedes users may be ‘skeptical’, but he insists Facebook has always been committed to being transparent about personal information it has stored. 

“Overall, I think we have a good history of providing transparency and control over who can see your information,” Zuckerberg wrote.

This ‘mistakes’ confession comes as The Social Network has just settled with the US privacy commission in a 20-year privacy deal which requires the company to ask users’ permission before changing the way personal information is released.

The Federal Trade Commission claimed the public information threatened “health and safety” exposing millions of users “potentially sensitive affiliations” with business, politics and organisations.

Facebook has been at the receiving end of much criticism over the way it stores its 800 million-odd user details as well as storing users’ browser cookies, allowing it to sneakily compile user information on location and web usage, which it was sending back to its server, uncovered by Australian blogger, Nik Curilovic, earlier this year.

“As we have grown, we have tried our best to listen closely to the people who use Facebook. We also work with regulators, advocates and experts to inform our privacy practices and policies,” Facebook’s founder continued. 

With regard to the agreement reached with the FTC, Zuckerberg said:

 

“These agreements create a framework for how companies should approach privacy in the United States and around the world.”
 
“For Facebook, this means we’re making a clear and formal long-term commitment to do the things we’ve always tried to do and planned to keep doing — giving you tools to control who can see your information and then making sure only those people you intend can see it.”
 
Read the Facebook blog here.
 

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