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Facebook Asks 350m Members to Personalise Privacy

Gordon Kelly


Facebook Asks 350m Members to Personalise Privacy

Privacy has been a monkey on Facebook's back for many years now, so the social networking giant has today gotten proactive...

Facebook will ask its 350 million users upon login to review and update their privacy settings - a first amongst the major Internet services. On top of this it will also launch tools to give users personalised and greater control over what information they share. Cleverly, this will be based on what the content is, why they are sharing, when and what audience they are trying to reach. You know, just like we always wanted!

These changes had been anticipated after an open letter discussing this topic from Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg was pinned to every user's homepage last week. "The plan we've come up with is to remove regional networks completely and create a simpler model for privacy control where you can set content to be available to only your friends, friends of your friends, or everyone" he explained.

The decision is a smart one, though it also runs counter to recent moves Facebook has agreed with search providers Google and Bing to provide real time search results that index users status updates. Yes, you can make these updates private, but you had to know to do that.

Of course while one section of society calls for greater controls on user privacy the other seems determined to share every minor detail of their lives with the widest possible demographic. A compromise has to be found somewhere, so let's hope this is it...


Zuckerbed Open Letter


December 10, 2009, 7:16 am

In a nutshell, it suggested I make most of my currently-private data public. Pathetic. Wasn't it supposed to suggest new settings based on my old ones?

Chris W

December 10, 2009, 1:25 pm

It seemed to work nicely for me. I previously had all my settings set to only friends and it's still like that. In all I think it's a good update. I suspect data probably goes public if you were previously sharing it with a network.

Steve Austin

December 10, 2009, 1:39 pm

In my case it suggested leaving everything as it was, severely locked down.


December 10, 2009, 2:42 pm


It certainly suggested to me that I retain my old settings.

Alex R

December 10, 2009, 5:02 pm

It suggested to me that I should change everything to public too, the opposite of how it was.

Plus Facebook has now decided that my "name, profile picture, gender, current city, networks, friend list, and Pages" are to be shared with everyone, whether I like it or not.

So the new improved settings, let people see more of my profile than I want, and give me less control. Not a fan of this version of 'improvement' =\


December 10, 2009, 5:54 pm

"got proactive" not "gotten proactive". I'll get through one day.

Technology changes, and so sho

December 10, 2009, 6:38 pm

'Privacy has been a monkey on Facebook's back for many years now, so the social networking giant has today gotten proactive...'

Are you sure this isn't an American site?

Perhaps one might suggest:

'Privacy has been a fly in Facebook's ointment for many years now, so the social networking giant, today, became proactive...'

...and you can leave the murdering of our dear tongue to the Yanks.


December 10, 2009, 7:40 pm

@Technology changes, and so should you - what nonsense! Other than the fact we certainly don't stereotype our language to be from any particular country, that phrase is centuries old and is thought to originate in Egypt.

Now if you'll excuse me I'm off to eat some fish and chips and play cricket. Jolly good day for it don't you think old sport? Toodle pip.


December 11, 2009, 1:04 am

what a total joke - more like facearse makes everyone's profile public and wide-open to everyone unless the user visits the site and changes everything. typical slimey yank tactics.

m memmory

December 11, 2009, 3:56 am

Facebook seemed to think that I should, also, allow all my data to be opened up to everyone rather then kept a bit more secure. Not overly impressed with that - however once put back to my settings it's a bit better.


December 11, 2009, 4:22 am


Thought you were off to the Avatar premiere!


December 11, 2009, 6:47 am

recommended me to keep my old settings (very locked down) all I had to do was click next and nothing was changed

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