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Facebook's New Settings Draws Privacy Groups To Complain To FTC
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msg:4045424
 12:21 pm on Dec 18, 2009 (gmt 0)

Facebook's New Settings Draws Privacy Groups To Complain To FTC [news.bbc.co.uk]
Ten privacy groups in the US have filed a complaint to the Federal Trade Commission over Facebook's new privacy settings.

They argue that privacy on the social networking site has been adversely affected as the firm encourages users to open up their profiles.

The company changed its privacy settings, ostensibly to make it easier for users to control their profiles.


 

Robert Charlton




msg:4046065
 10:34 am on Dec 19, 2009 (gmt 0)

My experience is pretty much in alignment with the complaint....

"Facebook's changes to users' privacy settings disclose personal information to the public that was previously restricted," the complaint read.

"These changes violate user expectations, diminish user privacy, and contradict Facebook's own representations," it goes on.

The privacy settings wizard, which they force on you, is very vague about what your previous settings were, and the alternatives were always to increase visibility.

What I found myself doing is to go through the privacy wizard fast, trying to be as restrictive as possible, and then to dig into the Settings >> Profile Information / Search Information / Contact Information, etc. These are more granular than the wizard... but the settings don't stay set, at least as I remember it, unless you've done the wizard first. (Either that, or they made some additional changes and hit me with the wizard twice).

Also, there are trade-offs in the settings that simply aren't clear... even with the Profile preview feature... which is a nice feature, but it only seems to preview part of the profile, and you're not quite sure which part. I may have reduced my profile to a "this user doesn't display blah blah" message to most of my friends... I'm not quite sure. I don't know whether FB is trying to be tricky to get users to loosen up, or it's just their typical ineptitude with regard to documentation.

The interface also seems to be changing all the time, something that's understandable to a degree as a complex social system develops, but not to the extent that they've been making changes.

Additionally, as an aside... it's not possible, from what I can determine, how to keep marketer friends as friends, but, at the same time, to keep them from spamming you with invitations. It's a setting that's badly needed.

bill




msg:4046761
 5:02 am on Dec 21, 2009 (gmt 0)

The key is to put your contacts into well defined groups. Then set permissions for those groups accordingly. I had that setup well before these changes, and this new privacy setting didn't noticeably open me up to much.

The average user must have been quite challenged to understand all these settings and their impact on their privacy.

Robert Charlton




msg:4046838
 9:10 am on Dec 21, 2009 (gmt 0)

The key is to put your contacts into well defined groups.

bill - I don't see options for that kind of choice. Please describe.

bill




msg:4047400
 5:25 am on Dec 22, 2009 (gmt 0)

I should have used the proper FB terminology: "Lists".

The wizard left all my settings intact because I already had granular permissions applied to my Lists.

Break your contacts down into separate Lists and then allow or deny portions of your profile/information. For example, you might have lists of 'Friends' who can see everything, and then lists of 'School' acquaintances who might not need to see all of your contact information, and then your 'Work' list where you may block all the pictures of you at the frat party in college, etc.

Robert Charlton




msg:4082625
 11:56 pm on Feb 17, 2010 (gmt 0)

Break your contacts down into separate Lists and then allow or deny portions of your profile/information.


Thanks for the above suggestion. It's not intuitive, but it's easier than I thought. Go to Edit Friends under Account (in the upper right of Home)... then, under Lists (on the left of the page that comes up) click Friends, specify a new list name, highlight a friend or friends, and add them to this new List. You can then set permissions for this List.

But, I'm still not seeing how to block Fan Page suggestions, and it may be there isn't one.

My earlier comment...
...it's not possible, from what I can determine, how to keep marketer friends as friends, but, at the same time, to keep them from spamming you with invitations. It's a setting that's badly needed.


To put this in perspective, today I received fourteen (14) Fan Page suggestions from a marketer "friend". I've for now kept him on my Friends list and also included him on a separate List, called "spammers", but for the life of me, I see no way to block Fan Page requests.

Do I need to de-friend him, or is there a separate way to block these?

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