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Facebook Facepalm: In Big Real-Estate Buy, Mark Zuckerberg Seeks Personal Privacy, Then Removes Online Privacy Feature

October 11, 2013
URL: http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/229364

Two pieces of news have emerged about Facebook and privacy that might have you shaking your head. Or probably even rolling your eyes.

The social network announced yesterday that it was officially removing a feature that allowed users to control whether they could be found when people typed their name into the Facebook search bar. It was called "Who can look up your Timeline by name?" Facebook started removing the feature late last year for people who hadn't already been using it. Now, say sayonara because it's going away for good.

Translation: People using Facebook's Graph Search will be able to locate you no matter what your settings. Users can still control the audience settings for the posts they share but there is now no universal feature that allows users to opt themselves out of search.

Related: New Facebook Privacy Issue Sparks Official FTC Inquiry

Here's the other bit of news: As Facebook removes this privacy feature, co-founder Mark Zuckerberg is after more personal privacy -- for himself. Zuckerberg has reportedly paid $30 million to buy four homes adjacent to his own Palo Alto, Calif., home. He is said to have done this after learning that a developer was going to buy one of the properties, build a large house and then market the property as being next door to Zuckerberg.

To be fair, Zuckerberg isn't the only business leader to make dramatic real estate buys. Google co-founder Larry Page scooped up four adjoining properties to his in Palo Alto in 2009 to build a 6,000-square-foot home. Oracle chief executive Larry Ellison made waves in May when he reportedly bought two dozen beach-side properties in Malibu, Calif.

But as Facebook makes it more difficult for users to maintain privacy, its co-founder is taking drastic measures to protect his own. Ironic timing, isn't it?

Related: Tech Giants Form Another Group to Bring the Internet to the Global Masses