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Facebook Looks Set To Do A U-Turn On Complex Privacy

     
1:28 pm on May 19, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Facebook Looks Set To Do A U-Turn On Complex Privacy [news.bbc.co.uk]
Facebook looks likely to cave into pressure from users and simplify its privacy settings in the near future.

It follows criticisms of its privacy policy from US senators, the European Union and civil liberty groups.

The social networking giant told BBC News that it was listening to the message from users that it has "made things too complex".

"We're working on responding to these concerns," a spokeswoman said.

"Watch this space," she added.

1:54 pm on May 19, 2010 (gmt 0)

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The change to the options for sharing with websites and applications overwrote the settings I entered a couple weeks ago and turned sharing with third party sites back on. I'm sure when they "simplify" it they will turn everything back on again. I'm growing really tired of their shenanigans.
2:51 pm on May 19, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Yup, @SEOMike, you can bet whenever they make a change to privacy "utilities" or TOS, it will include a change in what the general user will have to check.

In this case, even if the granular controls remain, I suspect they will be reset for all during the process of installing the (what one might call) "macro" settings. Watch out!

I trashed my FB account 3 weeks ago, and encourage others to do so as well. An advertising and privacy nightmare.
3:18 pm on May 19, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Facebook is deperate to demonstrate they can make a lot of money, but they're upsetting users in the process. This demonstrates how difficult it is to monetize a social network.
3:25 pm on May 19, 2010 (gmt 0)

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FB appears to have a sophisticated advertising group coupled with an immature and out of touch implementation team: lately everything they do turns out to be a user/populace disaster :-)
3:39 pm on May 19, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Facebook is deperate to demonstrate they can make a lot of money, but they're upsetting users in the process. This demonstrates how difficult it is to monetize a social network.

Perhaps they should consider doing something offline. It's what folks like WebmasterWorld and SES do right? Take the online community, translate it into offline and add value through conferences? And the conferences probably also feed the online community.

Facebook should have local meetups or something :).
4:12 pm on May 19, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Not a member, never will be
4:36 pm on May 19, 2010 (gmt 0)

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A major investigation from EU and FTC should be going on, they are not to be trusted with anything.
5:33 pm on May 19, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Woah Facebook. I don't think the problem was that privacy was too complex. I think it was that you just decided to start sharing data with third party sites without requiring an opt-in. If they remove fine grained privacy controls they'll probably just piss off their power users.
5:51 pm on May 19, 2010 (gmt 0)

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I appreciate the granular privacy controls, and I hope they keep them. Reseting them every time they make a change should be out of bounds, though.
6:23 pm on May 19, 2010 (gmt 0)

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By the way - the third party site data sharing issue is bad enough that I'm getting emails from Senators about what they're planning on doing about it. So ... you might want to fix that first.
9:24 am on May 20, 2010 (gmt 0)

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The issue goes beyond the way privacy can be controlled. Users will find the way FB deals with sensitive information about them disturbing, and there is little one can do against this apart from not being on FB or otherwise limiting activities there.
10:31 am on May 20, 2010 (gmt 0)

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To turn off instant personalization entirely, uncheck the box below.

[ ] Select partner websites may use information I'm sharing with everyone to automatically personalize my experience.


Looks like they need to update that contradition in their privacy settings.
4:52 pm on May 20, 2010 (gmt 0)

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One page where a user can easily control what's visible (and maybe even see what a friend can see, or an unconnected person) would be a big step.

The current mode of having sites that require individual disabling is a non-starter.
5:58 pm on May 20, 2010 (gmt 0)

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the granularity isn't the issue and they know it. People are ticked off that every 3 months, it all gets reset when they "improve the user experience" which, translated means, "we're desperate to get search engine bots ripping through all your profiles to allow us to more easily monetize the site".

it's the whole opt-in vs. opt-out that we've discussed many times on here in the last year. The opt-out tide is pushing harder and harder.
2:00 am on May 22, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Privacy is an issue in a world where our government tapes our phone conversations, Google knows my every search and the local grocery store tracks everything I buy? ;)

I'm an avid FB user.
8:00 pm on May 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

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I have to say I was pleasantly surprised to hear about the letters the senators sent to Facebook. A lot better than the "series of tubes" rant a couple of years ago.