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Facebook's New Privacy Controls: Still Broken 142

Posted by Soulskill
from the hey-let's-try-this-thing dept.
itwbennett writes "Blogger Dan Tynan was one of the recipients of the new privacy controls that Facebook promised last week. The bad news: They still don't work, and may even be worse than before. 'Using Facebook's new improved privacy controls, you can tag someone else in photo and then keep them from seeing it,' says Tynan. 'It's pretty simple; just change the sharing option so they don't see what you posted. So if you want to tag a picture of some jerk with your friend's name on it and make it Public, everyone on Facebook will be able to see it except one — the person whose name is on it.'"
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Facebook's New Privacy Controls: Still Broken

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  • Perspective (Score:5, Interesting)

    by mr1911 (1942298) on Monday August 29, 2011 @01:11PM (#37243436)
    The majority of Facebook users do not seem to care about privacy, so for them this is probably not an issue for them.

    Some days I think those who don't care about their privacy are ahead of those of us that do. Privacy is dead, and they are not wasting effort fighting the tide.
    • That's the thing. This isn't a "I don't care about privacy. Do whatever." This is Facebook answering to "I care about my privacy, I want to opt out" with the opting out only makes it looked like you opted out.

      This is a deceptive practice. This is like ordering a sandwich, asking them to hold the pickles and finding they just hid the pickles under the burger.

    • ...Some days I think those who don't care about their privacy are ahead of those of us that do. Privacy is dead, and they are not wasting effort fighting the tide.

      This, IMHO, is the party line that our corporate overlords want us to take. We don't need to do so and I, for one, refuse to bow down to the scumbags who want inside my underwear.

      • by LocalH (28506)

        Step 1: Collect NotSanguine's underpants
        Step 2: ???
        Step 3: Profit!

        • Step 1: Collect NotSanguine's underpants Step 2: ??? Step 3: Profit!

          They just want in, they don't want the underwear. :)

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward

        What are you hiding in your underwear that you don't want people to see? Is it WMD? pr0ns? skidmarks?

        • What are you hiding in your underwear that you don't want people to see? Is it WMD? pr0ns? skidmarks?

          It's much worse. It's a CD-R with pirated tracks on it.

          Of Justin Bieber, no less (yes, I understand that I have forfeited any hope of jury nullification by saying that). ~

    • Some days I think those who don't care about their privacy are ahead of those of us that do. Privacy is dead, and they are not wasting effort fighting the tide.

      I think it's quite often that issues arise in which "most people" are on the side that in retrospect proves idiotic or wrong. Especially when it comes to rights. Maybe there's some cognitive dissonance going on, that people accept if one does not have a right already, they probably don't deserve it or need it. "Right to privacy? Well if you have nothing to hide, you have no need for privacy."

      Anyway, it hasn't stopped progress in the past. Facebook seems a very small hurdle to overcome compared to t

      • by mr1911 (1942298)
        Facebook is not the hurdle. The problem is that people willingly post everything in their life for all to freely see.

        If Facebook demanded that people post the crap they do, most would walk away in realizing their privacy was being compromised. But by making a forum where people can share with their friends, Facebook allows the same group of people to now share all of their intimate details.

        What is worse is that Facebook makes it easier for people to share about their friends as well. It is far too
    • Finally, someone I agree with on the privacy issue. In 10 years, everyone will be recording every second of every day, and will be able to look back at their lives and be able to watch anything they ever did. The answer to privacy is simple: if you don't want pictures of you looking like an idiot to show up on facebook, then don't act like an idiot.
    • Unless there's something distinct between how pictures and regular post taggings work.

      Fiancee just created a post that excluded me in the privacy controls by name, but tagged me in it. Not only can I see it, but FB dutifully emailed me that I was tagged in someone's post.

    • If not caring, not understanding, and not knowing were all the same, you'd be right. As it stands, facebook continues to monetize the mistakes and misunderstanding of the masses, mostly caused from how facebook works... Like a mousetrap really. Pure genius.

  • Wow... that's (Score:5, Insightful)

    by JoshuaZ (1134087) on Monday August 29, 2011 @01:19PM (#37243552) Homepage
    Wow. That's not a tiny issue at all. This isn't just a privacy issue. That's a makes-it-really-easy-for-a jerk-to-fuck-someone-over issue. Take a picture of someone and photoshop in a bong and then do this. See how long it takes to get them fired. Anyone who looks at it will think that the individual is aware of and approves of the photo since they haven't removed the tag. This is a really bad issue. Calling this one a "privacy" issue totally misses the point. This is much more severe.
    • Only your friends will see it.
      How is it different from photoshopping an image and then sending it around from your email address?

      • by makomk (752139)

        The article claims that you can set it so that anyone in the world with a Facebook account (possibly even people without one?) can see it except the victim...

        • It's the same as posting an image with privacy set to "Everyone" and providing an exception to specific users.
          This is possible today.
          However, with new privacy settings one has to approve other people's photo tags, so this photo will never show up on taggee's profile.

    • Maybe HR shouldn't take everything they find on google image search or Facebook as the word of the one true god. But that would be too simple.
      • by Flozzin (626330)
        I agree completely. I've never taken anything online seriously. I hate how its made into this huge deal, but after all its just online. I learned early on not to take much online seriously, but now we have forgotten that. Companies see everything online as a possible PR nightmare. Omg, someone made a youtube video about us!! BAD PR. No it will be forgotten in 2 seconds, and anyone that believes a youtube video is true or not completely one sided, probably devoid of any facts that make the poster look bad i
    • I don't think that has anything to do with Facebook's privacy controls. Even if Facebook was entirely 100% open, no privacy controls at all, I could still photoshop a bong into your picture, post it on Facebook, and share it with your boss. The end result may very well be the same.

      • by Baloroth (2370816)
        But in the old privacy system, you would be notified of the tag, and could remove it. Now, however, you won't be notified, and you can't see the tag, meaning you also can't remove it. It'll be there forever. So this is very very bad. Oh yeah, and according to TFA you can tag absolutely anyone, not just friends. Hopefully it gets bad enough that people simply stop taking Facebook as credible. And maybe man will be on Mars in 5 years. Hey, one can hope, right?
    • Take a picture of someone and photoshop in a bong and then do this. See how long it takes to get them fired.

      Or worse, their boss will want to hang out.

  • Ever.

    The most you will get is a dog and pony show designed to fool the fools.

    This is Facebook's equivalent of your bank telling you that your call is very important to them, please hold 90 minutes and an outsourced heavily accented rep will be right with you.

    If you want any shred of privacy or dignity then get off Facebook and stop interacting with Facebook.

    Facebook is built on the idea that people are datapoints to be cataloged, analyzed, and sold not just to the highest bidder, but to every bidder who wan

    • by MrMatto (2429900)
      The problem is that even if I do manage to get off Facebook, there is nothing to stop someone from tagging me in inappropriate photos. They can tag me in any photo they wish, set it to public and if I do not have an account then I can't do anything about it. If I have a Facebook account, at least I can delete the tagged photos one at a time as they crop up. Still annoying, but more do-able.
      • by vlueboy (1799360)

        When people tag photos with my name or pet aliases, there is no auto-linking to any profile because none exist. As an added bonus, FB users searching for my names find nothing, even though my relatives tag me in pictures they snapped of me.

        DISCLAIMER: I've never been a member, so this may be an edge case for never-members. Your milage as a victim of "once-enslaved, always enslaved" may vary. You poor souls. ;-)
        I guess the whole chinese "No pictures! That machine will suck out my soul" will become popular a

  • Best Interest (Score:1, Redundant)

    by mfh (56)

    It's not in Facebook's best corporate interest to follow privacy rules. Therefore, it's not in our best interest to use Facebook.

    • It's not in Facebook's best corporate interest to follow privacy rules. Therefore, it's not in our best interest to use Facebook.

      Your completely sound logic with a decent level of intelligence is awesome. That's why it won't work ;)

      Stupidity, ignorance, and drama always create more of a flow pattern.

  • by SilverHatHacker (1381259) on Monday August 29, 2011 @01:24PM (#37243636)
    This just in: Water is still wet! The Sahara is still hot! Politicians are still lying!
    • by Isarian (929683)

      This just in: Water is still wet! The Sahara is still hot! Politicians are still lying!

      This just in: Facebook is still lying!

    • This just in: Water is still wet! The Sahara is still hot! Politicians are still lying!

      What???? Politicians are STILL LYING?

      My mom told me last week that there was a press statement years ago that said it officially didn't happen! :>

  • The tagged person needs to approve that tag first. Only then his friends would discover the photo via taggee's profile.

    The photo would indeed be visible to poster's friends, but he could've mentioned the person's name (without the tag and with whatever custom privacy she chose) to begin with.

    • That's crazy talk. Waiting for someone to approve something would take so much of everyone's PRECIOUS time that they would just DIE waiting for it!!! OMG OMG!!!

      I wish I were exaggerating that statement from the crap that goes on all day.

    • by blair1q (305137)

      I don't see the problem with that. Facebook is making your profile private. You are allowed to control who sees what in it. Anyone who wants to see things in your profile needs your permission. If you also happen to use that to persecute people, that's your problem, not Facebook's.

  • I can't say I'm right and I can't say I'm wrong... but what I smell (knee-jerk reaction) is a nice little change made quickly and simply with a nifty little "feature" instead of "bug":

    Post crap, don't allow one of your friends to see it, have others see it (who are also friends with the one who can't), have friends jabber with friends and start mini-conflicts..... PROFIT! More time on the 'book means more ad hits. Virtual social world - priceless.

    Eh? Eh?

  • Facebook controls your privacy.....no wait....
    • I heard over in Russia they still do a weird thing that isn't really acceptable here...

      I've heard they like... uh.... I can't even pronounce the words but I'll give it a shot..... They 'talk to people face-to-face, in-person'. Whew. It's so hard to do!!!!!!

      My brain hurts.

  • Facebook still has broken privacy controls? That's crazy talk, next you're going to be telling me the sky is blue!
    • Facebook still has broken privacy controls? That's crazy talk, next you're going to be telling me the sky is blue!

      If I told you I knew it was a different color, one that you've never heard of before, would you pay me for that information? Oh, and for a little more you can get the properties of TheWorld(tm) that control that color; nobody but you will know!

      Oh.. and make sure you give me all of your personal identification, including SSN, bank card information, phone numbers, addresses, everything.

      It's uhh.... for tax and um, security reasons and will not be used for any other PurPose(tm). :->

      Ahh, I crack myself up.

  • Facebook's New Privacy Controls: Still Broken

    It isn't broken.
    "Not working" isn't the same as "broken"

  • Step backward (Score:5, Insightful)

    by 93 Escort Wagon (326346) on Monday August 29, 2011 @02:11PM (#37244344)

    In the previous version of Facebook, you had the option of not allowing anyone to tag you. I just spent a few minutes poking around the new controls - that option is nowhere to be found now. So, yeah, definitely a step backward.

    Thing is, I really HATE tagging in Facebook, and had it disabled for my profile. It's not that I mind people identifying others in photos - but that's not what most people use it for. Most people (in my circle of acquaintance, anyway) seem to use it just to get someone to look at a photo - they'll add a bunch of name tags, even though none of those people are in the picture! It's ludicrous.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Facebook privacy settings aren't your problem - your jerk-ass friends are your problem.

    • Now everybody can tag (which is no different then mentioning you in text in captions to their photos), but not every tag will automatically post to your profile.
      You have to approve others' tags for them to go on your profile, and for your friends to discover them.

    • by dmomo (256005)

      I have mine set so that i'm the only one who can see tags of me. So, people can tag me, but no one else sees it. That's even better than not allowing tagging, because the tagger doesn't have to know it's useless, and you will still get emails when they tag you, so you can stay on top of things.

      That option looks to still be there.

      • by dmomo (256005)

        I could be wrong. This may not be working as described as of the latest updates. The "don't post to my profile" option is there, but not the "who can see tags of me".

        • by crossmr (957846)

          It's right there:
          "Who can see photos and posts in which I am tagged on my profile?"
          Go to tags, and profile visibility

    • by eyenot (102141)

      I just went into all these new privacy settings last night. I found exactly that option (not to be tagged) and verified that it was still as before -- set to not allowed. Nothing changed, in other words. What are you smoking?

      • I just went into all these new privacy settings last night. I found exactly that option (not to be tagged) and verified that it was still as before -- set to not allowed. Nothing changed, in other words. What are you smoking?

        If you went in last night, I'm betting your profile hadn't actually been migrated yet (mine didn't happen until this morning). In any case, since you state it's still there - it would've been actually helpful to point out where you found it. That would settle the question, once and for all - it'd be readily apparent whether you were describing the old setup or the new.

  • Facebook users should always keep in mind that they are the product. not the consumer.
  • Every time Facebook announces a change in their privacy stuff the change is utterly retarded. People start complaining about it and Facebook steps down a bit claiming they listen to the users. The end result: Facebook get what they want. It is just simple: cross the line, back down a little and you've moved it a little.

    note that I have a Facebook account but the things I share there are not private, everybody may see them.

  • If you turn on tag review, items you're tagged in don't appear on Facebook until you review and approve them. You can also turn on profile review, and set profile visibility to friends only. If you set those things appropriately and the person trying to tag you also tries to block you from seeing what they've tagged you in, they paint themselves into a corner: if you can't see it you can't review and approve it, and if you don't approve it it's not visible to anyone.

    That said, the new settings feel to me li

    • If you turn on tag review, items you're tagged in don't appear on Facebook until you review and approve them. You can also turn on profile review, and set profile visibility to friends only. If you set those things appropriately and the person trying to tag you also tries to block you from seeing what they've tagged you in, they paint themselves into a corner: if you can't see it you can't review and approve it, and if you don't approve it it's not visible to anyone.

      yep.

      Sorry /. like it or not, the new facebook system is actually a improvement. They could do more, but you have to admit it's a improvement

      Otherwise you are just a partisan non-thinking tool. Like a democrat who lives to cheer their team, so if the republications do something they normally would like, they still hate on it because republication=bad democrat=good. And that is the worse sort of tool you can be. Also I'm not clicking on this knee-jerk reactionary blog and giving him page hits.

      I'l

      • by McDrewbie (530348)
        no, they just don't appear in YOUR profile until you approve it. It will still appear in the tagger's profile. And since you probably share friends with the tagger, those friends are likely to see it in that person's profile.
        • by DavidD_CA (750156)

          How is this any different from going on ANY social network and saying "Bob sucks"?

          Yes, all of your friends will see it, and some of those will be Bob's friends. And yes, you can even hide the statement from Bob.

          And yes, maybe it's even a photo of Bob doing something he shouldn't be.

          But again, how is this any different from Google+ or WordPress or even Slashdot?

    • by DavidD_CA (750156)

      Beging tagged in a comment trumps any privacy settings that the poster selected.

      If Andy metions Bob in a post, and sets the post so that everyone can see it except Bob, even if Andy and Bob are not friends, Bob will see it because he is tagged in it.

      As soon as Bob untags himself, he can no longer see it. It will remain on Andy's profile, but no longer linked to Bob.

      And at that point, it's no different than anything else on the internet.

  • These words don't mean what you think they mean, especially when they are in the same sentence.

    There are *no* "privacy controls" at facebook, at least, not for the user base for which facebook has shown time and again, it has utter contempt for. Facebook cares about one thing only: Money, and to that end, you are a monetization data point, you are a borg drone and nothing more.

  • by waddgodd (34934) on Monday August 29, 2011 @03:13PM (#37245172) Homepage Journal

    I've seen some pretty dick moves in my day, and tagging a photo with someone else's name, then hiding the evidence from them is pretty much up there. This is the kind of move you make if you wish to terminate a friendship with extreme prejudice. Therefore I expect to see its application almost immediately, in accordance with the Greater Internet Fuckwad theory.

  • by DavidD_CA (750156) on Monday August 29, 2011 @03:13PM (#37245174) Homepage

    This post is completely wrong. Here's why:

    The new Privacy Controls are very easy to figure out. Just click "Account" and "Privacy".

    You get a few menus, like Tagging, Apps, Block Lists, etc. Each one brings up very simple menu items each with a description.

    If you click on the one for tags, you can easily require your own approval for anyone that tags you. You can also set who is allowed to see items that you're tagged in (everyone, friends of friends, just friends, or a custom list of people).

    And here's the best part: even if you have the tag approval feature turned off, anyone who tags you that is not currently a friend will ALWAYS require your approval before the tag is published.

    So the only way the OP situation is correct is if 1) you are already friends with the jerk who posted the photo, 2) you manually approve the tag OR you have the setting set so that you trust all your friends, and 3) the person looking at the photo is allowed to see the photo based on your preference for tagged content (and "everyone" is not the default).

    • by McDrewbie (530348)
      Reading comprehension is something you lack. :Profile Review controls whether you have to manually approve posts you're tagged in before they go on your profile. When you have a post to review, the Pending Posts tab will appear on your profile. Note: You can still be tagged. This controls whether tags go on to your profile." The important part is"on your profile" Nothing stops the tag from appearing on the profile of the person that posted the picture,
      • by DavidD_CA (750156)

        While you're wrong that I lack reading comprehension (and thank you for that baseless libel spewage), you're right that friends of the jerk could still see the image that I was tagged in.

        And so what?

        People have been able to post images of people, and say things, since the beginning of the internet.

        How does this relate to privacy? And how would you propose Facebook stop it?

        • "and so what" is exactly the point. if you don't lack reading comprehension you absolutely lack any kind of creative thinking that could put you in someone else's shoes and consider what might happen to someone else. also, empathy (the trait that keeps you from being considered a sociopath) would actually have you consider what your own experience would be like if it happened to you, and also care about someone else's situation regardless of whether it could happen to you. for example, i don't need to be a
          • by DavidD_CA (750156)

            Wow dude, really?

            My point is that Facebook has done what they reasonably can to eliminate this as a privacy matter unique to their network.

            But hey, I'm sucking up your air now... so I'll just shut up and kill myself. My bad.

            • > My point is that Facebook has done what they
              > reasonably can to eliminate this as a privacy matter
              > unique to their network.

              My point is that Facebook has done what they
              reasonably can to eliminate privacy. This is unique
              to their network.

              There, fixed it for you.

    • by Christoph (17845)

      That makes sense.

      I would also agree with the logic further up; even if the article is correct, this is the same as a malicious lie about you being circulated, behind your back, before the internet. At least now, you can use the same internet to check the credibility/reputation of the source of the lie versus the subject of the lie.

      I was told a judge once instructed a jury as follows: when an attorney is grilling a witness, you get to decide if the attorney impeached the witness, or impeached themselves (by

      • by DavidD_CA (750156)

        The article is wrong.

        Being tagged in a comment trumps any privacy settings that the poster selected.

        If Andy metions Bob in a post, and sets the post so that everyone can see it except Bob, even if Andy and Bob are not friends, Bob will see it because he is tagged in it.

  • It's really a moot point. Google Plus will be the next big thing within 6 months, and Facebook will go the way of MySpace and Friendster.
  • by epp_b (944299)
    You mean, like, with air quotes, right?
  • "I can't believe even Facebook would do this intentionally"
    Dan must be new to this internet thing.

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