Facebook's Zuckerberg Admits 'Mistakes,' Pledges Privacy Changes

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, age 26
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, age 26

In Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg's first public comments since a furor erupted over the site's privacy practices, the 26-year-old tech executive said his company has "made a bunch of mistakes" and vowed to make the site simpler and easier to understand.

In a letter to prominent tech blogger Robert Scoble, Zuckerberg said, "I know we've made a bunch of mistakes, but my hope at the end of this is that the service ends up in a better place and that people understand that our intentions are in the right place and we respond to the feedback from the people we serve." Scoble published the letter on his site Sunday.

But nowhere did Zuckerberg apologize for the "mistakes" or address the core issue of trust, which some users say they are losing in the site.

"We Just Missed The Mark"

"The biggest message we have heard recently is that people want easier control over their information," Zuckerberg wrote in The Washington Post. "Simply put, many of you thought our controls were too complex. Our intention was to give you lots of granular controls, but that may not have been what many of you wanted. We just missed the mark."

Zuckerberg's comments come after weeks of criticism over the company's increasingly complex privacy settings. Then, last Thursday, news emerged that a Facebook loophole had allowed online advertisers to see personal user information. The company said it quickly changed its policies to close the loophole.

But the event added to the growing feeling that Facebook plays fast and loose with user data. On Monday, Zuckerberg finally addressed the controversy, hoping to tamp down criticism.

"We have heard the feedback," Zuckerberg wrote. "There needs to be a simpler way to control your information. In the coming weeks, we will add privacy controls that are much simpler to use. We will also give you an easy way to turn off all third-party services."

In his op-ed piece, Zuckerberg listed "the principles under which Facebook operates."

Originally published