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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.
"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.
The average user must have been quite challenged to understand all these settings and their impact on their privacy.
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.
Break your contacts down into separate Lists and then allow or deny portions of your profile/information.
...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.