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Facebook Masks Worse Privacy With New Interface 446

An anonymous reader writes "Facebook launched new privacy settings this week. Cosmetically, this means that the settings are explained more clearly and are marginally easier to manage. Unfortunately, some of the most significant changes actually make preserving privacy harder for its users: profile elements that could previously be restricted to 'Only Friends' are now designated as irrevocably publicly available: 'Publicly available information includes your name, profile picture, gender, current city, networks, friend list, and Pages.' Where you could previously preserve the privacy of this information and remain publicly searchable only by name, Facebook now forces you to either give up this information (including your current city!) to anyone with a Facebook account, or to restrict your search visibility — which of course limits the usefulness of the site far beyond how not publicly sharing your profile picture would. That Facebook made this change while simultaneously rolling out major changes to the privacy settings interface seems disingenuous."
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Facebook Masks Worse Privacy With New Interface

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 10, 2009 @11:05AM (#30388144)

    I know it's a different company, but what did the CEO of Google say? 'If You Have Something You Don't Want Anyone To Know, Maybe You Shouldn't Be Doing It'. I see Facebook has the same attitude.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 10, 2009 @11:29AM (#30388418)

    Here ya go, fixed that bolded quote:

    Facebook does not care about its users. Get used to it.

    You're right. And isn't it kinda sad that people just sit there and deal with it. I for one don't actually even sign into Facebook because they strong-arm you into doing things their way.

    Whatever happened to giving people/users what they want out of a site. Has Facebook gotten so smug that they feel they can do whatever they want and people will just deal with it.

    Screw it, I'm moving over to Zookeroo once it goes live in the next couple of weeks. I know the lead engineer on that project and not only do they value user privacy, but they are going way over the top to make sure that people can have the exact experience they want. There is far more Facebook could be doing beyond even basic privacy of information, but instead of making things better, they are stomping all over people's privacy and wants and laughing all the way.

    I can't wait to see them fall on their ass with a confused look and bitch and whine about why people are unhappy with them.

  • Worse than that.. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by maillemaker ( 924053 ) on Thursday December 10, 2009 @12:11PM (#30389054)

    Worse than that, the pop-up menu option for more privacy was not listed as "keep private", it was listed as "old settings". If you hovered over the "old setting" button a menu did pop up that said "private" or something like that, but clearly the menu was designed to entice users to reveal more private information.

  • by Mister Whirly ( 964219 ) on Thursday December 10, 2009 @12:27PM (#30389366) Homepage
    I don't mind sharing information, but I want to control what information is seen by whom. When I signed up and agreed to the original terms, they didn't share all of that info. So now my choice is let them change the original agreement, or not use the service anymore. I don't really like either choice, and think there should be more choices. Luckily I am not using my real name, and keep most real world details to a minimum anyways. But I still would like more options when it comes to sharing my information.
  • HR loves you (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 10, 2009 @12:29PM (#30389404)

    I work in the IT department of an HR & headhunting firm. Sites like facebook, netlog, etc have become real goldmines of information to separate the dumbasses from the decent candidates. You can tell a lot from a profile, pictures and who are in the friends list.

    I myself extremely value my privacy and will never post anything on any network site other than professional network sites like LinkedIn (and even then, my BIO will be limited). It doesn't help that my father used to be in direct marketing ages ago. Even back then, direct marketing databases contained more combined and linked information about people than the friggin' government had... I can only imagine what it has become now.

  • by clone53421 ( 1310749 ) on Thursday December 10, 2009 @12:56PM (#30389980) Journal

    Huh? I was referring to [].

    Patricia A. Thurston
    3626 Dye Street
    Chandler, AZ 85225

      * Website:
      * Email Address: []
      * Password: oorail9Ae
      * Phone: 480-782-0388
      * Mother’s Maiden name: Horan
      * Birthday: December 8, 1967
      * MasterCard: 5143 8915 6264 6991
      * Expires: 4/2010
      * SSN: 765-12-1098
      * Occupation: Semiconductor processing technician
      * UPS Tracking Number: 1Z 203 2A4 74 3343 146 3

  • by boxxa ( 925862 ) on Thursday December 10, 2009 @01:05PM (#30390142) Homepage
    Its a pain but you can b*tch at their customer support and get your profile expunged from their servers. It was a pain but I did it once in the past. Now I keep my profile limited to Name, City, Company, and networks. No personal details at all in my profile.
  • by steelfood ( 895457 ) on Thursday December 10, 2009 @01:16PM (#30390382)

    If they have a decent transactional database, they'd be keeping a record of everything that happened. And I don't mean a database transaction log, but an actual row in some table that contains your previous data and when it was changed.

    Information wants to be free. Isn't that a common meme around here? You can't take back what you've let out. If you want privacy, you have to be very selective about what you let out and to whom.

  • Boycot Facebook (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Requiem18th ( 742389 ) on Thursday December 10, 2009 @01:16PM (#30390394)

    This only makes the "privacy help" message they give you when you want to unsuscribe (I'm sorry that's "disable" which doesn't do shit) more hypocrite.

    I'd like to see people disabling their accounts en mass claiming privacy concerns, not going to happen I know. Some times I hate the world.

    Fuck facebook, and more than anything, fuck facebook users and their habit to post pictures of non users.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 10, 2009 @01:40PM (#30390804)

    Why do I pay so damn much for my television, then?

  • by natehoy ( 1608657 ) on Thursday December 10, 2009 @02:20PM (#30391564) Journal


    Now the decision you need to make is based on the following information:

    1. What are they asking me to give them, and
    2. What are they offering me in return.

    Facebook gathers the information you enter and sells it to advertisers for fun and profit. In return, they give you a virtual meetingplace chock full of tools for finding old friends and acquaintances, keeping in touch with same, organizing events, etc etc. What you are giving them in return for this service is:

      - Your name and any other information you actually enter into Facebook. That includes interests, hobbies, etc for matching "the right ad" to you (enter "kayaking" as an interest and those "good luck charms for kayakers!" ads will appear almost instantly). This is "level one" of the data, and allows them to target ads to you.
      - Your habits while on Facebook. Do you spend most of your time on your home page, your news feed, or an app? What kinds of things do you click the "like" button on a lot? What kinds of things do you reply to a lot?
      - Things you and your friends do as a group, and what activities and discussions you have with various friends.
      - They also allow third parties certain levels of access to your data based on applications your friends run.

    Is it worth the price? For me, yes. I understand what I'm selling them, and I feel the service is worth the price. The same is not true of everyone.

    Of course, one fallacy is that you always have to enter all of your real information into the site. It's not your Father Confessor. Enter the city closest to your town, not your actual town. Enter a slightly-but-not-quite birthday if you feel you must have one out there. Enter information about yourself that people who know you could use to recognize you (if you want to be sought out) but that would not give an anonymous stranger tools to use against you.

  • Re:privacy (Score:2, Interesting)

    by don_bear_wilkinson ( 934537 ) on Thursday December 10, 2009 @07:51PM (#30396640)
    I don't use Facebook to expand my existing social network. I use it to have a sort of 'chat room' amongst my friends where we can keep each other updated on the things we are doing with our lives. It's a one-to-many 'sharing' environment. I post about the book I am reading. All my Friends can see that. Maybe someone is reading the same book and has a remark. Or they had meant to read it but forgot the name of it and my posting it reminded them. Or a thousand other options. I can say that I plan to go to that Goth/SM club tomorrow and since it's only Friends that can see that, it's cool - and maybe they want to go with me. But the point is, something like Facebook is a way to stay connected. To deepen connections. To know what is going on with each other without having to make 100 phone calls or address an email to 100+ people, etc. When people send me a Friend invite, I have an easy choice; is this someone I already know or someone I'm acquainted with that I want to know better *and* do I care what they are doing with their life? If yes, I accept the invite. If not, I mostly don't. I don't use Facebook to find old friends. If they are old friends, we probably drifted apart for a good reason - with I think exactly 2 exceptions out of 100+ on my list so far. So it makes perfect sense to me to want to have the option to NOT put up my pic or location to strangers. That said, I do think that having JUST the picture can be forced. That way I can confirm if this is the John Smith I think it is. But, for me, the real, true bottom line is this. GIVE ME THE FUCKING OPTION to control what information I see fit. If I clamp it down so that no one can find me, that might be exactly what I WANT.

Our business in life is not to succeed but to continue to fail in high spirits. -- Robert Louis Stevenson