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Will Members Rebel Against Facebook’s New Privacy Settings?

Facebook is rolling out new privacy controls today that for the first time let users specify their content as being viewable to “friends, friends of your friends, or everyone.” The aim: Make the social network’s privacy settings more straightforward. But it turns out that Facebook’s ‘Transition tool’ — which prompts members to review their settings — suggests by default that most users make many of their updates, including the posts they create and their “about me” information, available to “everyone.”

That’s raising eyebrows among privacy advocates. The Electronic Frontier Foundation, for instance, posted a blog post today, calling it a “worrisome development that will likely cause a major shift in privacy level for most of Facebook’s users, whether intentionally or inadvertently.” It also notes that users will no longer be able to restrict access to some basic information — like what pages they are fans of — and will also have less control over what information about them is shared via the Facebook API. Remains to be seen how Facebook users who have been notoriously averse to change will react. While it may seem far fetched that advocacy groups could fuel a member revolt, that’s exactly what happened with Facebook’s controversial Beacon advertising program, which was first questioned by MoveOn.org.

Facebook, meanwhile, which wants to get more people to share their updates, has been extra-careful to slowly usher in the changes. They were first announced in July and last week, after weeks of tests, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said they were about to go into effect.”

6 Responses to “Will Members Rebel Against Facebook’s New Privacy Settings?”

  1. Well, not long ago I watched a video about the threats of similar networks. I found it at rapidshare SE http://rapidpedia.com . As everywhere else you cannot be 100% sure that all your data will be safe. And to eliminate the risk or just sleep calmer do not use such networks to share secret information. Pay attention to private fotos and videos. Who knows maybe there are a lot of their copies on different web-sites.

  2. I’ve yanked all of my personal info from my account and made the whole thing public. I figured that if they were going to slowly bleed out everything from my profile, I might as well give them what they want, sort of. I’m sure they aren’t happy that I stripped down my profile, but I’m not having complete strangers read all about my home life. Truth is, I never should have posted that much personal info online in the first place and it took me awhile to realize that. Thank you, FB for snapping me back into online reality. Keep it offline if you want it private.

  3. We are already organising a group to protest the new privacy settings. Facebook is requiring that users share their profile picture, friend lists, current city and fan pages with everyone. What is worse is that if someone adds you, they can see your status updates, even though you don’t approve the friend request.

    Friends of friends (so-called “mutual friends”) can click right through to your profile and add you too because you can no longer hide the “add me as a friend” button from everyone. You must let ‘friends of friends’ or ‘everyone’ be able to add you.

    Against The New Facebook Privacy Settings! group is here:
    http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=209833062912

  4. tumbleweeed

    hi i disagree with this. I think that as a netizen, you have to take responsibility for your own privacy too. you can’t expect others to be shielding you from prying eyes. having a facebook account in the first place already opens one up to scrutiny. it is up to the user to take full advantage of the new privacy settings now.