Facebook co-founder and chief executive Mark Zuckerberg has claimed that its lowering of users' privacy in December was in line with current "social norms".
The new privacy settings introduced at the end of last year faced a significant amount of opposition from digital rights groups and users.
Before the changes, users had the option to expose just a limited profile of themselves or remain hidden altogether. But the modifications meant that more details contained in users' profiles were publically displayed by default, including their picture, current city, list of friends and fan pages.
"People have really gotten comfortable not only sharing more information and different kinds, but more openly and with more people, and that social norm is just something that has evolved over time," Zuckerberg said at a start-up event in San Francisco on Saturday called the Crunchies.
"We view it as our role in the system to be constantly innovating and updating our system to reflect the current social norms.
"A lot of companies will be trapped by the conventions and legacies of the systems they have built, and while doing a privacy change for 350 million users is not the kind of thing that a lot of companies would do, we view it as important to always keep a beginner's mind and think what would we do if we were starting the company now.
"We decided that these would be the social norms now and we just went for it. "
However, Zuckerberg's remarks conflict with the previously stated Facebook line.
Facebook said at the time of the privacy changes that they were intended to give users more control over their information, as the new settings allowed users to customise individual pieces of information, like videos or photos they upload, and to decide with whom to share them.
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