(Photo: Reuters / Robert Galbraith)
The Facebook logo is shown at Facebook headquarters in Palo Alto
Social networking site Facebook on Wednesday rolled out its new simplified privacy settings to mollify users after the site’s previous settings took the flak from its users for sharing too much personal information with other users, outsiders and third parties.
Facebook has introduced simplified controls to give users control over what personal information is available to others.
Now, users are given simple tools enabling them to share personal information with everyone, friends of friends or friends only, or use their own customised settings.
Users are now allowed the option to see information about their friends the moment they arrive on select partner websites and control what personal information is available to applications and websites when Facebook friends are using them.
The new settings also explain how the information is shared. Users are alerted to the changes in a box on their main Facebook screen, which then takes them to a page explaining the changes.
- FOLLOW IBTIMES
Facebook, which has more than 400 million users worldwide, had earlier launched privacy settings which made personal information public by default along with sharing personal information with external websites.
Users were not also alerted to the previous changes and had to opt out of them line-by-line to control their privacy settings. Complaints ranged from confusion over complicated settings for who sees what personal information on a person's profile to concerns about what Facebook itself might do with information it gathers from its members.
The changes, which prompted complaints from users, governments and privacy bodies around the world, led Facebook to introduce simplified tools for privacy control.
However, this assurance was not enough to stop 35,000 users worldwide to pledge closing their accounts on Monday during an organized Quit Facebook Day, jointly started started by Toronto duo - Joseph Dee and Matthew Milan.
They had planned to delete their Facebook accounts on May 31 and the users also called this movement a 'digital suicide'.
The exact number of users who had quit the website on the day is not known.
Concerns regarding privacy came to a head last month when Facebook CEO and founder Mark Zuckerberg introduced "Open Graph," a way to link outside websites with user data. An online music store, for instance, might have access to a Facebook user's favorite artists without having requested that information directly.
Privacy advocates had since then been howling and technology bloggers have taken the company to task, putting Zuckerberg on the defense.
However, the latest fracas over privacy has not hurt Facebook’s business as it is the dominant U.S. social network, growing from 400 million members to almost 500 million in just a few months. Defections from Facebook have not stifled its growth despite the bad publicity.
Nevertheless, Facebook is in damage control mode to quell concerns and has taken the decimation of rival and former web bellweather MySpace as a warning sign.
This article is copyrighted by International Business Times, the business news leader