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Facebook Announces Changes to Privacy Controls

Thursday, May 27, 2010


Facebook announced yesterday that it is making changes to its site so users have a better understanding of their privacy settings and more control over them.

In a post on the official Facebook blog, founder Mark Zuckerberg said the company had made it simple to control whether third-party Web sites could access any personal information.

On Tuesday, GoLocalProv reported that an East Providence man, Derrick Rose, had filed a class action lawsuit against the popular social networking site, saying that Facebook had signed users up for its new Instant Personalization program without telling them. The program shares personal information with three Web sites: Pandora, Yelp, and Docs.com.

“Already, partner sites can only see things you’ve made visible to everyone,” Zuckerberg said yesterday. “But if you want to prevent them from even seeing that, you can now easily turn off instant personalization completely.”

Zuckerberg, however, did not elaborate on how to do this.

Also, he said the company had created one “simple control” allowing people to control who sees what they post—friends, friends of friends, or everyone.

In addition, he said Facebook had also cut down on the amount of information that everyone sees. “Now we’ll be giving you the ability to control who can see your friends and pages,” Zuckerberg wrote. “These fields will no longer have to be public.”

The controls are at the top of the privacy page in the Basic Directory Information. But Zuckerberg urged users to keep them open. “We recommend that you make these settings open to everyone,” he said. “Otherwise, people you know may not be able to find you and that will make the site less useful for you.”

Peter Wasylyk, the attorney for Derrick Rose, declined to comment on the changes until he had reviewed them.


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