It’s been a turbulent couple of weeks for Facebook and its young founder, 26-year old Mark Zuckerberg. He and the Facebook policy makers have been under fire for the latest round of so called ‘privacy changes’ that were made in April.
The more controversial changes included an ‘instant personalization’ feature that defaulted to opting people in to connecting their personal information with third party developers. When this came out, there were only three companies in place to suck in all that data – Yelp, Pandora and Facebook docs. The other big change was that developers (of Facebook applications) would no longer purge data daily from their servers, instead, they could permanently keep the data,
The severe criticism apparently caught the clueless folks at Facebook by surprise and since then, they’ve been rethinking and rehashing what to do to address people’s concerns. Wednesday, May 26, they had yet another press conference to announce yet another update which has been pushed out to users. Have you seen the below yet when logging into FB?
Here are some interesting stories floating around I thought I’d share:
- ‘Quit Facebook Day’, which is set for Monday, May 31st
- A project being developed to replace Facebook by some New York University students called ‘The Diaspora Project’. This is an open-source project depending on donations right now.
- Zuckerberg mistakenly exposed over 290 personal pictures to the world and how a large number of chat conversations (including some of Zuckerman’s), were accidentally revealed to the world.
- Prominent internet broadcaster, Leo LaPorte deletes his Facebook account on one of his shows and shares with his listeners that he believes, ‘Facebook is evil’.
Surveys have shown that the trust approval rating for Facebook has been declining for some time. People are distrustful because of ‘software glitches’, and default privacy settings that reveal too much information by default.
So, how is the every day Facebook patron dealing with all of this? Are you thinking of closing your Facebook account? Some may wish to do that and if you do, they say all your account information will be permanently deleted – but not for two weeks – just in case you want to come back.
I’ve not considered deleting my account. Instead, I’ve chosen to put very little in my profile, so you won’t see my favorite tv shows, books, hobbies, etc. I do have a number of albums uploaded, but have the appropriate sharing levels set on them. Most of the people I’m friends with on Facebook I actually know or have a tie with that is meaningful to me. I don’t have hundreds of friends which means what I post doesn’t have that big an audience and I’ve ratcheted back what will appear where.
New Facebook Privacy Settings as of May 27, 2010
In Zuckerberg’s Press Conference and in his blog (there’s a link to it as you read through your new privacy settings), Zuckerberg promises this will be the last privacy update ‘for a long period of time’. So let’s take a look…
All these settings are located on one page
Info accessible through your friends – This one always bothered me as it was out of my control. Before, friends who used various applications or games exposed me to third party application developers. So even though I didn’t play the stupid games, my information (little as it is), was still at risk. Now I have unchecked all the boxes in this area. Hope it works.
Game and application activity – this means who can see my activity with games and application dashboards. This setting can be tweaked to ‘everyone’, ‘friends of friends’, ‘friends’, or ‘custom’.
Instant personalization – instead of burying this somewhere, it’s front and center. I checked and the setting I previously chose was preserved – as they said it should be.
Public search – this lets you visually check how your profile looks to the general public. This is nice as people may not realize something is exposed. Now you can take a quick look and then make changes if necessary.
Once you’ve made a change in your settings, it should stay that way, even if Facebook updates their privacy settings again.
It seems that there are fewer ‘granular’ settings, although they said they were still in there – I found a ‘customize settings’ hyperlink that is located on the ‘Choose Your Privacy Settings’ page that I clicked and looked at, but it didn’t seem quite the same as what I’d seen before.
I like these changes, I’ve checked them again and hope I don’t have to revisit them for awhile. I think we all have ‘Facebook Privacy Fatigue’, and are ready to get our settings put in and be able to use and enjoy Facebook now.
What do you think of the Facebook changes – like or dislike?