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RSA Europe 2012: Wikipedia founder tells Facebook to spend money on security

Says a large scale security breach could ruin the company
Thu Oct 11 2012, 17:11
jimmy wales wikipedia rsa 2012

WIKIPEDIA FOUNDER Jimmy Wales said today that Facebook "better be spending a lot on security" because a large scale security breach at the social network could "destroy the company".

Speaking at the RSA Europe security conference in London today, Wales said that despite worrying that Facebook isn't plowing enough money into security, he sympathises with the social network over its privacy concerns.

Wales explained that people are getting more concerned about the amount of data companies are collecting and because of this, it's difficult for businesses like Facebook whose businesses are tied up with customer service.

Using the example of how Facebook requires access to users' personal data in order to improve its service, Wales said, "Facebook collects a lot of data and I'm sympathetic to the problem they have, which is the whole service is built around me linking to my friends and sharing updates with them and status and photos.

"They can't not collect all that data and it would be foolish for them not to use it for business purposes," he added.

Wales said that on the other hand Facebook could easily go the other way and alienate people.

"For Facebook what I sympathise with is there are things that it can do that feel creepy to people," he said. "It better be spending a lot on security."

Wales believes that if Facebook were to have a large scale security breach, in which people's chat messages or personal messages are leaked on a large scale basis, it would "destroy the company".

"A major security breach is the one thing I think could cause people to say 'I'm going to stop using Facebook'," he said. µ


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