from UK News:

Facebook’s Zucker punch

-- Tom Ilube is chief executive officer of online security firm Garlik. The views expressed are his own. --

Facebook's announcement that they are taking a new approach to their policies on the use of personal data is a quantum leap. By allowing users a greater role in its governance, the world's most popular social network has set the benchmark for all organisations holding an individual's personal information.

It is a brave and important move for Facebook: by allowing users to have a say in the way that their personal information is used and distributed, consumers will finally be allowed to take control of their digital identities.

In the past couple of weeks, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has oscillated from holding on to people's information forever to the position he announced today - giving users the chance to have a say on what happens to this data.

Facebook has learned the hard way that consumers value transparency above everything else. The world watches their every move and this naïve attempt to change their terms and conditions, without fully consulting their users, meant there was an inevitable loss of credibility.

Facebook says Oops, (we) did it again

One day after Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said the social networking site would stand by its revised terms of use, he capitulated and said Facebook would return to its old terms while “we resolve the issues that people have raised.”

Zuckerberg said Facebook would work on a “substantial revision.” In the meantime, members can voice their opinions — or as the case has been, give vent to their outrage — through “Facebook Bill of Rights and Responsibilities,” a group created by the networking site.

Here’s a sampling of the 4,229 wall posts so far:

“you guys are a major corp and you think im to believe for a second that you would not share all of our information to make some money for yourselves……PLEASE TELL US ALL ANOTHER LIE!!!!!!!!!!” (James Stull, Montreal, QC)

Facebook and the ownership society

Facebook has experienced its fair share of user revolts and public relations black-eyes in its five-year lifespan.

So CEO Mark Zuckerberg knows the drill when controversy is in the air and he moved with alacrity on the President’s Day holiday Monday to defuse the latest kerfuffle.

“We wouldn’t share your information in a way you wouldn’t want,” Zuckerberg reassured his flock of more than 150 million Facebook users in a blog post. “The trust you place in us as a safe place to share information is the most important part of what makes Facebook work.”

Facebook valuation in eye of the beholder

The $15 billion valuation that Microsoft appeared to bestow on Facebook in 2007 provoked some scepticism – including within Facebook itself.

It turns out, the privately-held social networking firm has a much more conservative sense of self-worth, and puts its value at a one-fourth of the Microsoft figure.

According to redacted court documents obtained, and somehow decoded by the AP, Facebook valued itself at $3.7 billion in June, when it was in court over a dispute with a rival social networking site.

Zuckerberg, edition Web 2.0

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg may have traded in his Adidas flip-flops for tennis shoes, but he was as coy as ever when it came to talking about the social network.  On stage at the Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco, host John Batelle asked Zuckerberg about Dubai, referring to rumors that Facebook CFO Gideon Yu was in the Middle East seeking financing from the sheikhs.

“I’ve never been to Dubai,” Zuckerberg said. “I’m told it’s nice at this time of the year.”

Never one to give up easily, Batelle dug deeper: “Gideon must have told you that.”