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Summary:

Facebook today announced a revamp of its user privacy controls, after nights-and-weekend work by its top engineers and designers to respond to widespread public criticism. Mark Zuckerberg called the release a “modern privacy system” that reflects what the site has become and incorporates feedback from users.

Facebook today announced a revamp of its user privacy controls, responding to widespread public criticism following its f8 conference product launches with systematic changes that it said came out of weeks of nights-and-weekend work by its top engineers and designers. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg called the release a “modern privacy system” that reflects what the site has become and incorporates feedback from users.

“We made a lot of changes at the same time, and a lot of what we were trying to do we didn’t communicate that well,” said Zuckerberg. He acknowledged users felt there were so many controls that they were overwhelmed and didn’t feel comfortable sharing.

Here are the most important changes, which will roll out to users shortly, heralded by a notice at the top of their home pages:

The main privacy settings page lets users toggle between sharing various types of content with everyone, friends of friends, and friends only. Facebook gives broad recommended settings or users can click to customize. This applies to all content retroactively and all content going forward.

What other users can see about you in the directory is limited. You don’t have to share your friend list with other users, and you don’t have to share what pages and interests you have connected to and liked. Facebook warns you that you should probably share some information so that your actual friends can find you.

You can now opt out completely of the Facebook platform. If you do, you won’t be able to access any applications, but applications will then have no information about you. Particularly important is that if you opt out, your friends won’t be able to share your information with other applications. You can also more clearly opt out of the new instant personalization feature. Lastly, in the coming month, outside applications will have to ask for items of your personal data in a much more granular manner.

Related content from GigaOM Pro (sub req’d):

Could Privacy Be Facebook’s Waterloo?

Please see the disclosure about Facebook in my bio.

  1. [...] Read this article: Facebook's New Privacy Settings: Here's What Changed [...]

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  2. I don’t really care about privacy, but I’d love to know how I can get rid of ads (unlikely, given that “Facebook will always be free”) or at least make ghfm relevant (every bloody ad seems to be about dating, weight loss or debt).

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    1. If you’re eager for good ads, maybe you can give Facebook lots of specific and unusual demographic info? Might be a fun experiment.

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  3. [...] Facebook’s New Privacy Settings: Here’s What Changed – GigaOM [...]

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  4. [...] violaciones a la privacidad, que llegó a tener una portada de la revista Time, tuvo finalmente su efecto y Mark Zuckerberg decidió simplificar la configuración de privacidad.Al ingresar a la pantalla de [...]

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  5. [...] CEO Mark Zuckerberg knows what you’re going through and also knows that you’re pissed, so don’t [...]

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  6. [...] Facebook finally bowed to the onslaught of criticism unleashed after its recent f8 conference and changed the way the social network handles privacy this week. But the key question for the company is whether the latest changes, and [...]

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  7. [...]      0 Over the past few months, the debate over privacy and its role in the continued evolution of information technology has been reinvigorated. To some extent, the controversy isn’t new, [...]

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  8. [...] or hasn’t been diligent enough in giving users a way to control their private data, despite the recent changes to its privacy settings. In the latest move, a member of the House Judiciary Committee sent the [...]

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  9. [...] or hasn’t been diligent enough in giving users a way to control their private data, despite the recent changes to its privacy settings. In the latest move, a member of the House Judiciary Committee sent the [...]

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  10. [...] Zuckerberg also said that he’s not out to to make information shared on Facebook more public over time (which seemed like a reasonable interpretation of past moves the company has made to change default privacy settings). Rather, he said Facebook set out to make a simpler experience back in December, and that’s why it opened up the defaults (they were later changed after widespread attention to the company’s overcomplicated privacy settings). [...]

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