Facebook under fire after privacy change

10 December 2009

Some people hate social networking sites. Facebook, in particular, has come under a huge amount of scrutiny with privacy issues and the like. In the past, people who feel that the web should be open and free to see have needled Facebook for being a walled garden, and as such 'anti-internet'.

Well, that could all be changing with a change in the privacy policy of the site.

These changes were introduced yesterday via a pop-up that asked users to update privacy settings. Like all idiots, I just clicked away from mine and ignored it. These changes enable the things on your profile to be search for via search engines and the like.

This means, if you've been slagging your boss off, safe in the knowledge that he won't see because he doesn't have a Facebook account, you might be getting a P45 this week.

Of course, Facebook have refuted the claim that these changes have been brought about to stiff users and that they are not out to trick members into revealing too much.

Barry Schnitt, a Facebook spokesman, said: "Any suggestion that we're trying to trick them into something would work against any goal that we have." Facebook would encourage people to be more open with their updates because, he said, that was in line with "the way the world is moving".

Critics have claimed that this new mandate will push users into publicly sharing more information than before, as well as reducing the amount of control they have over their personal data. The changes have made Facebook users' gender and location viewable by everyone. The default setting on the site now makes everything visible. This move is to, presumably, make the site more compatible with Google and Bing, and thereby, generate revenue for Facebook.

What do you think about it? Is this an invasion of your online presence? Do you not care because, by nature of what Facebook is, you overshare your personal details anyway?



  • The S.
    If people can't set their own privacy settings, then they deserve all they get. It took me 2 minutes to set everything as "Friends Only".
  • John S.
    Shanks here. I have set all of my privacy settings to everybody.
  • owt4nowt
    this is a free service, and they're giving the full opportunity to check and revise your settings so it's secure as you want it to be. Can't see how people can complain about a site that brought the world that little bit closer together at no physical cost to themselves., whilst ALWAYS being in full control of your own account and info.
  • owt4nowt
    ^^when I say cost to themselves, I mean cost to the users.
  • Nobby
    > Facebook would encourage people to be more open with their updates because, he said, that was in line with “the way the world is moving”. Yeah, this is the way the world is moving. I regularly walk down the high street going up to strangers telling them my name, my date of birth, that my current status is married, what I just ate for lunch, the score I just got in a computer game and then show them photos of my kids on holiday.
  • xman
    Nobby, actually a lot of americans behave like that already!
  • Rampant R.
    Facebook is for morons, the terminally stupid and tossers. How do I get an account? Reg.
  • Jason
    I remember seeing this pop-up...didn't it show you your current privacy settings? And supply drop-downs for you change them? (including "Friends Only") If people are stupid enough to not lock their profile and then bitch about their boss then its their fault. If they were my employees I'd fire them not on the fact they'd slagged me off, but fire them because I'd question their intelligence / awareness.
  • Hugh J.
    What's Facebook ?

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