Facebook Shores Up, Clarifies User Controls Over Privacy

FacebookFacebook is shoring up its privacy policy as the social media giant continues to expand its testing of thousands of games and applications, prepares for location-sharing and more of its 400 million users are able to interact with friends through third-party sites.
With a posting on its blog page today, Facebook is inviting users to submit comments on proposed revisions to its Privacy Policy and Statement of Rights and Responsibilities.
It is also announcing possible partnerships with websites that Facebook pre-approves “to offer a more personalized experience at the moment you visit the site.”
“In such instances, we would only introduce this feature with a small, select group of partners and we would also offer new controls,” wrote Michael Richter, deputy general counsel for Facebook.
As its popularity continues unabated, Facebook is facing mounting criticism from U.S. privacy advocates and foreign governments over its lack of privacy controls. It is also hearing warnings from the online security community about its vulnerability to hackers.
“It is important to note that, while we’re still developing many aspects of these products, user control over privacy remains essential to our innovation process and we’ll continue to develop new tools to help you control the things you share on Facebook,” Richter said.
Users can view the redlined deletions and additions to the policies. Most of them involve detailed elaborations on the privacy settings available to users.
One section explains in further detail the “Everyone” setting, which is designed to enable users to share content “as broadly as possible.”
“To enable this distribution, we allow others to see, access, display, export, distribute and redistribute content set to ‘Everyone’ and we’ve tried to make this even clearer,” Richter said.
In another revision, the following has been added:
”Your contact information settings control who can contact you on Facebook, and who can see your contact information such as your email and phone number(s). Remember that none of this information is required except for your email address, and you do not have to share your email address with anyone.”
Facebook has come under increasing criticism from European authorities who contend that Facebook users are posting content containing private information on non-users without getting proper consent.
The issue of privacy extends into the area of online security. Both Facebook and Twitter have come under well-publicized attacks in recent weeks by scammers using phishing emails to gain access to user passwords.
Internet security experts have warned social media enthusiasts through blogs and publications that the posting of personal information amounts to valuable ammunition for clever online fraudsters developing more targeted strategies.  
The two leading social media sites have taken steps to bolster their security settings and screenings of suspicious links. They have also posted extensive guidance and common sense tips, particularly warning of emails inviting users to change their password by opening an attachment or clicking on a link.

3 thoughts on “Facebook Shores Up, Clarifies User Controls Over Privacy

  • Pingback:Facebook Shores Up, Clarifies User Controls Over Privacy | SOCIAL MEDIA BILL OF RIGHTS

  • April 7, 2010 at 10:49 am
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    I think that facebook needs to be controlled better.i have now seen a huge increase on murders,bullying and sexual attacks through contact being made on facebook.i have a young daughter who is on there and she gets all sorst of comments about her pictures form grown men saying they think shes sexy when shes 13 years old and shes riding her horse!!!!
    i think we should certainly look at getting this site to be more controlled and have a review on if we should look at charging for the privilege to use these social networking sites!
    how do we go about lobbying this?

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