Facebook's Data Privacy Controversies


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Case Details:

Case Code : BECG101
Case Length : 23 Pages
Period : 2004-2009
Pub Date : 2009
Teaching Note :Not Available
Organization : Facebook.com
Industry : Internet and e-Commerce
Countries : US

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

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Excerpts

About Facebook

The history of Facebook can be traced back to the early 2000s. On February 04, 2004, Zuckerberg, a student of psychology in Harvard University, founded Facebook Inc. and launched a social networking website, thefacebook.com. Within 24 hours of the launch of website, 1200 students had signed up...

The Privacy Controversies

Since 2006, Facebook's different features and applications faced controversy relating to privacy. On September 05, 2006, two new features were introduced on Facebook - News Feed and Mini Feed. News Feed appeared on the member's home page and showed new photos posted by friends, any recent changes in their friends' Facebook pages and information about new friends joining groups, etc...

Redesigning the Website

On March 04, 2009, Facebook's redesigned home page was launched. In the new home page, users could filter their inbox for unread messages. They could 'filter 'news feeds' based on friend groups and families. The news feed could be also filtered by applications like photos, videos etc. Users could also select unwanted messages as spam...

The Road Ahead

As of June 2009, Facebook had approximately 250 million active users (Refer Exhibit VIII for Some Statistics about Facebook). However, analysts pointed out some challenges that Facebook would face in the near future. One of the main challenges before Facebook would be to comply with new regulations on privacy set up by different countries (Refer Exhibit IX for Share of Active Facebook Users by Region in June 2009)...

Exhibits

Exhibit I: Highlights of the Guidelines Issued by Article 29 Data Protection Working Party
Exhibit II: Facebook's European Growth and Visitors by Country
Exhibit III: Logo of Facebook
Exhibit IV: Timeline of Major Events at Facebook
Exhibit V: Apology Letter of Mark Zuckerberg
Exhibit VI: Highlights of Facebook's Proposed Statement of Rights and Responsibilities
Exhibit VII: New Facebook Home Page
Exhibit VIII: Some Statistics of Facebook
Exhibit IX: US Facebook Active Users by Region (June 2009)



 

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