Facebook Announces One-Click Privacy Settings
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg today announced new simple privacy settings on the Facebook blog. He acknowledged that too many control options can make some users feel out of control and agreed improvement was needed.
New settings begain rolling out today, offering a single control for user content, more powerful controls for basic information and an easy control to turn off all applications.
One- click control
Facebook users can submit and share everything from favorite quotations to their home address, adding up to hundreds of personal facts and preferences. Until now these facts could be made public or shared with a select few or anything in between. While this offered users point by point control, mayny complained the granular privacy settings were cumbersome and time consuming.
Beginning today Facebook users can choose to "batch" their data and share it with everyone, friends of friends or friends only. The setting will apply to all past content posted as well as new content. According to Zuckerberg, this master setting will be automatically applied to any new products Facebook launches in the future. The old privacy options will still be available and allow users to customize their information as before by simply choosing the "Customize settings" option.
Public info reduced
Some basic information from a user's profile is available to search engines outside the Facebook walls, but users can prevent this information from showing up in a search by unchecking the "Create" box next to "Public Search" in the Applications and Websites section of the privacy settings.
To create a middle ground, Facebook has cut friends and Pages you've liked from a user's public information. This information will now come under the user's control to share with others or not. Public search information can now be limited name, profile picture, gender and networks, information Facebook considers important for people to connect with one another prior to joining the service. Story continues below.
Off switch for applications
While games and other third party applications have been wildly popular on Facebook, complaints have been lodged that people find it tedious to deny access to applications one at a time. Note these are third party applications like Farmville and Best Buy gift selector that the Facebook user allowed access to at one time.
This new feature will allow users to turn off access to all third party apps with one click. Further, new Facebook users can use this same feature to block access to their profiles by outside companies from the outset. By turning off the Platform completely, one of a user's information is shared with applications or Web sites.
If users prefer a less drastic approach, they may still go into their privacy settings under Applications and Websites to allow access to an application, but avoid notifications from other players and other types of messages they do not want on their Facebook wall.
A new Facebook feature called Instant Personalization and recently announced at the Facebook annual convention just last month, has also been awarded with an easy, front page opt-out for users. By selecting to turn off instant personalization, partner sites like CNN, Pandora and Yelp will no longer have access to preferences and activity, and this integration with outside sites will not be activated when a Facebook user visits. The off switch overrides any sharing options specified within the Applications and Website privacy section.
Zuckerberg concluded his message by assuring users these changes mark the completion of Facebook's privacy model overhaul. Facebook users can expect to receive a message directing them to the new privacy controls over the next few weeks.