PALO ALTO (KCBS) — Palo Alto-based Facebook has planned a major announcement for Monday morning, with many industry experts speculating over whether the social networking giant will launch its own e-mail service.

Facebook officials have kept mum about the planned announcement. But a media invitation for the event includes a message icon.

And some tech experts are saying that the company has the potential to change the way people use e-mail.

KCBS’ Chris Filippi Reports:

“I think it’s a move to consolidate some of the control that Facebook gains over the social network and people’s communication with that network,” said Wendy Seltzer, a fellow with Princeton’s Center for Information Technology and Policy and Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society.

But she warns that there could be some privacy concerns with a Facebook e-mail service.

“If they can do this in a way that gives users real control over their information and where it goes, that could be a good thing,” Seltzer said. “If they give users just the illusion of control, or worse, they don’t give users that control, then there are serious privacy problems that we would have to look to regulations to solve.”

If Facebook does launch an e-mail service, it could quickly become the largest in the world, as the site boasts 500 million members.

(© 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed)


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