Facebook Takes Privacy Seriously

Today I had the opportunity to speak with Chris Kelly, Chief Privacy Officer of Facebook. I had presented a question to him about rumors of Facebook employees modifying user profiles. There have been a number of articles on Valleywag as well as on here. Chris got the point across to me. Facebook takes privacy very seriously. Conversely, I wouldn’t expect Chris to say anything except for that. Chris spoke with conviction when discussing the Valleywag article so I have to say I believe him.

One other thing Chris noted is that if anyone violates Facebook’s internal policies on accessing their profile database (and people have done so), action will be taken against them. Unfortunately, he didn’t specify what action that would be but Facebook is taking privacy seriously. While Facebook (especially their new services) has serious privacy implications, I now believe that Facebook is taking the proper precautions to ensure the safety of user data.

One of my primary remaining concerns is simply that Facebook’s privacy policy makes no statement about restricting access to employees. Chris clearly stated that there are strong restrictions in place. Unfortunately we’ll never know what those are but the bottom line is that Chris Kelly has the job of ensuring that people believe Facebook is a secure environment to reveal all of their personal information. It must be a challenging job!