Zuckerberg defends Facebook over privacy concerns

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has defended the social network's record on privacy, claiming that his site was far more privacy-concious than rivals Microsoft, Yahoo and Google.

In an interview for the Charlie Rose TV show on US television, Mark Zuckerberg faced some tough questions from the host about his company's attitude to user privacy.

Attempting to turn the spotlight on others, Zuckerberg replied: "If you look at companies, whether it's Google or Yahoo! or Microsoft, that have search engines and ad networks, they also have a huge amount of information about you.

'It's just that they're collecting that about you behind your back," Zuckerberg went on to say. "They're collecting this huge amount of information about who you are. But you never know that."

Over the last few months alone, Facebook has been accused of a number of privacy violations - and the company currently faces a data protection audit at its European headquarters in Ireland, after complaints from Austrian student Max Schrems and others.

Zuckerberg was joined on stage by Facebook's Chief Operating Officer, Sheryl Sandberg, who . backed up the CEO's claims that Facebook wasn't the big baddie everyone made it out to be.

With regard to privacy, Sandberg claimed: '"We lead in this area, meaning that we are the most privacy-focused place for anyone to share anything," The DailyMail reports.

Zuckerberg claimed that Facebook was simply more up front about its data gathering - somthing he says his contemporaries are not.

Zuckerberg said: "People have little or no control over the information that a company like Google or Yahoo or Microsoft has about you. I think that these companies with those big ad networks are basically getting away with collecting huge amounts of information, likely way more information than people are sharing on Facebook about themselves."