Once huge bonus in the new features that will be added over the next few weeks is the ability to in one fatal swoop change all of your content permissions from everyone to friends-only or friends-of-friends. While there will still be the option to customize the privacy settings on individual status updates, photo albums and the like, the new feature will allow those who know they want to keep everything private to do so fairly quickly. The new privacy settings also allow you to easily opt out of Facebooks personalization features that give information about you to third-party sites, and a simple way to keep your friends from seeing all the Pages on Facebook that you “Like” as well.
In an opt-ed piece in the Washington post monday, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg stated:
Six years ago, we built Facebook around a few simple ideas. People want to share and stay connected with their friends and the people around them. If we give people control over what they share, they will want to share more. If people share more, the world will become more open and connected. And a world that’s more open and connected is a better world. These are still our core principles today.
Facebook has been growing quickly. It has become a community of more than 400 million people in just a few years. It’s a challenge to keep that many people satisfied over time, so we move quickly to serve that community with new ways to connect with the social Web and each other. Sometimes we move too fast — and after listening to recent concerns, we’re responding.
The challenge is how a network like ours facilitates sharing and innovation, offers control and choice, and makes this experience easy for everyone. These are issues we think about all the time. Whenever we make a change, we try to apply the lessons we’ve learned along the way. The biggest message we have heard recently is that people want easier control over their information. Simply put, many of you thought our controls were too complex. Our intention was to give you lots of granular controls; but that may not have been what many of you wanted. We just missed the mark.
We have heard the feedback. There needs to be a simpler way to control your information. In the coming weeks, we will add privacy controls that are much simpler to use. We will also give you an easy way to turn off all third-party services. We are working hard to make these changes available as soon as possible. We hope you’ll be pleased with the result of our work and, as always, we’ll be eager to get your feedback.
We have also heard that some people don’t understand how their personal information is used and worry that it is shared in ways they don’t want. I’d like to clear that up now. Many people choose to make some of their information visible to everyone so people they know can find them on Facebook. We already offer controls to limit the visibility of that information and we intend to make them even stronger.
Here are the principles under which Facebook operates:
— You have control over how your information is shared.
— We do not share your personal information with people or services you don’t want.
— We do not give advertisers access to your personal information.
— We do not and never will sell any of your information to anyone.
— We will always keep Facebook a free service for everyone.
Facebook has evolved from a simple dorm-room project to a global social network connecting millions of people. We will keep building, we will keep listening and we will continue to have a dialogue with everyone who cares enough about Facebook to share their ideas. And we will keep focused on achieving our mission of giving people the power to share and making the world more open and connected.
What do you think about the new privacy setting options? Do you think its fair for Facebook to simply allow you any easy option to opt out of these features, or would you rather see them enact a policy where users have to opt-in to sharing their personal information rather than having it automatically set to do so?