10 December 2009 | 16,029 views

Facebook Pushes Out New Privacy Settings

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There have been plenty of stories about Facebook in the past and the latest is about their new privacy system. From what I understand they have abandoned the previous concept of “Networks” and now everyone is open to everyone else.

The network system was initially relevant when the site was targeted at only US college students, it easily allowed students from the same college to find each other. But now since it’s become global and the networks had changed into countries or even continents it was rather too open.

Facebook is urging its 350 million users to open their kimonos to the entire internet as part of its revamped security settings.

Unveiled on Wednesday, the social network’s new privacy controls are designed are to expose a user’s personal data – including status updates, posted content, and details about friends and family – to everyone on the wild, wild web.

Facebook says the freely-shared data “makes it easier for people to find and learn about you” — but critics claim it’s a actually ploy to drive up Facebook traffic by getting more of its pages cataloged by RSS feeds and search engines.

The surprising part is, when receiving the prompt today it suggests you open ALL your data to everyone! So instead of the expected tighter default privacy settings it’s pushing its users to disregard privacy totally.

It would make sense for them to push this, because if everyone opens everything there is far more for the search engines to spider and as a byproduct Facebook traffic will increase earning them more in the way of ad revenue.

Starting now, when a current user logs into Facebook, they will be asked to review and update their privacy settings. Users are then prompted to make changes to who (and what) is allowed to ogle various sections of their profile and postings.

While Facebook allows users to retain their old settings quite easily, the recommended options strongly encourage a brave new world of personal data sharing.

It should be noted that users under 18 are restricted to sharing details with Facebook friends no matter which options they select.

I’d imagine anyone here (if they even use Facebook) would already have fairly restrictive Facebook privacy settings in place..and well it’s easy enough to keep your old settings.

But for the less savvy user I think they may well take the suggestions and apply them…which is really not a good idea.

We will have to wait a few days and see if there is any major outcry.

Source: The Register



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3 Responses to “Facebook Pushes Out New Privacy Settings”

  1. n00b 10 December 2009 at 11:33 am Permalink

    I noticed this, and have already seen many peoples’ profiles open to all and sundry. I’m sure they don’t know this is the case, and didn’t even really read the information when it came up. I think this is a ridiculous idea, and one which will undoubtedly end in a horrible mess.

  2. Deborah S 11 December 2009 at 5:41 pm Permalink

    I’m one who has been leary of social networks from the get-go, Facebook and MySpace in particular. Seemed to me that these would become fertile breeding grounds for criminals and no-gooders of all descriptions, and I don’t want to expose myself to it. But, that said, curiosity got the better of me last year and I registered with Facebook, thinking that I could just take a look around and then delete my account. Imagine my shock when they wouldn’t let me delete my account! The best they would let me do is deactivate it, which I did after stripping every detail I could find about me out of it, but I was further dismayed that they wouldn’t let me change my name or birthdate. I left the email account unchanged because I wanted to have some way to be informed of what was being done with the account. Anyway, I recently got an email from Facebook notifying me that my account had been reactivated, probably when they switched over to this new “privacy” system. So I signed in to see what the fluck was going on. I couldn’t see any evidence that anyone had tampered with my Facebook account, but I did see that now they permit you to delete your account, albeit not without flogging you to explain to them in detail why you wanted to leave Facebook. I replied with the minimum number of random keystrokes they would accept, and now it at least appears that I have been deleted. Time will tell.

    The point of all this ramble? Facebook has little, if any, respect for their members’ privacy and freedom to do as they choose. They are yet another entity who wants to control the behavior of massive numbers of people on the internet for their own purposes, with little or no regard to what may happen to those people as a result. They may be the biggest and baddest no-gooder you might tangle with by signing up for their service. At least, I’d say that the thieving of your freedom and inculcation of the masses that this is perfectly alright and to be expected is a really bad thing.

  3. ac 12 December 2009 at 1:12 am Permalink

    Some good can come from it as well:
    The privacy settings were a farce anyway. Once the data is on their server it’s on the internet, out of your control and will eventually come back to “haunt” you (like a future employer, some reports indicate the access restrictions never worked like they should, facebook selling backdoor entry? etc). Now they are upfront with it. Everyone will know there is no expectancy of privacy. Some will hopefully act accordingly.