Yuri Milner, the Russian internet investor, has become one of the most intriguing figures in the industry by acquiring a near-10 per cent stake in Facebook, and by floating Mail.ru, his Russian internet company in London.
Mr Milner, whom I saw in action at the Monaco Media Forum, also has the element of mystery. Few people outside Russia paid attention to him until his Digital Sky Technologies acquired its Facebook stake in May 2009. Read more
To his credit, Mark Zuckerberg has responded to the outcry over privacy, including my column on the subject, by making significant changes to Facebook’s privacy policies.
The most welcome aspects of the changes, discussed by him on the Facebook blog, are that it will be far simpler for a user to control how information is shared, and these choices will apply to future Facebook services.
Facebook has also pulled back from its sleight of hand in making six types of data into “publicly available information” by reducing these to four, including taking users’ friends list out of the category. Read more
Facebook is likely to announce some privacy changes soon in response to the furore over the complexity of its privacy controls and its sharing of user information. But are they going to be enough to address all the problems?
So far, it does not look very likely. Read more
The news that Facebook, MySpace and other social networking sites have been (unintentionally) sending some user details to advertisers adds to my growing sense that the companies either do not place a high enough value on privacy or are not careful enough about it.
It follows Google’s disclosure that it accidentally picked up personal information from WiFi networks while filming for its Street View service. Read more
Further to my FT column on Facebook’s privacy failures, the company has made things worse for itself by not being clear about its intentions.
I noted that Mark Zuckerberg’s open letter about privacy on December 1 last year did not mention that it was about to define six categories of user data as “publicly available information”. Read more