This past year, the social network has found itself in the middle of several contentious privacy debates with angry and frustrated users.
While privacy advocates have pummeled the social network with criticism for several years, the issue heated up last April after Facebook unveiled a bevy of tools that would allow the sharing of user information with other Web sites. That move caused an uproar among users and even prompted a handful of U.S. senators to send an open letter calling on Facebook to amend its privacy policies.
And in August, Facebook developers had to quickly fix a bug that allowed spammers to harvest users' names and photos from the site.
Then this fall, Facebook admitted that applications made for the social network, such as FarmVille, Texas HoldEm Poker and FrontierVille, have been sending users' personal information to dozens of advertising and Internet-monitoring companies.
"They need to manage privacy and security issues to stay on track," Gottheil said.
Sharon Gaudin covers the Internet and Web 2.0, emerging technologies, and desktop and laptop chips for Computerworld. Follow Sharon on Twitter at @sgaudin or subscribe to Sharon's RSS feed . Her e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org .
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