Share It Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Copy link Five months after it first announced coming privacy changes this past summer, Facebook is finally rolling out a new set of revamped privacy settings for its million users. The social networking site has rightly been criticized for Loooking confusing privacy settings, most notably in a must-read report by the Canadian Privacy Commissioner issued in July and most recently by a Norwegian consumer protection ,aybe. We're glad to see Facebook is attempting to respond to those privacy criticisms with these changes, which are going live this evening.

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For example, you might want to the fan of a controversial issue like a that supports or condemns the legalization of gay marriageand let all your personal friends see this on your profile, but hide it from your officemates, relatives or the public at large. But to cut a long story short: there are three major problems with what we found. The simplification of Facebook's privacy settings includes the elimination of regional networks, which sometimes would lead people to unwittingly share their Facebook profile with an entire city, or, as Facebook's Lookibg Mark Zuckerberg explained in a recent open letteran entire country.

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Unfortunately, the new flexibility offered by per-post privacy settings, a definite "good," is being used to justify the "bad" Target Profile. For example, Facebook points to the fact that although you could restrict who could see what s you are a fan of when they look Lookig your profile, your fan status was still reflected on the that you were a fan of. Read " No, Facebook is not telling you everything " Similarly, the latest Fro features offers little insight into how users are tracked and finally targeted on Facebook.

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At this point there's no "if" about it: the Facebook privacy transition tool is clearly deed to push users to share much more of their Facebook info with everyone, a worrisome development that will likely cause a major shift in privacy level for most of Facebook's users, whether intentionally or inadvertently. And you control the users with whom you share that information through the privacy settings on the Privacy.

But whatever the reason is, the result is problematic and raises questions under data protection law. Contact methods are still mostly limited to Facebook s and there is no information regarding how the data was obtained in the first place What you can do Help us demand that Facebook improve the tools they offer Have a look at your own list and ask them for your data and why they have it.

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Now, however, those privacy maybf have been eliminated. The reasons for this can be many: Maybe the company never cleaned its customer list; Maybe it was bought and merged its client list with another; Maybe it went through a marketing agency who offered to combine huge lists of potential clients on their behalf; Maybe the company doesn't even know. Unfortunately, several of the claimed privacy "improvements" have created new and serious privacy problems for users of the popular social network service.

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EFF took a close look at the changes to figure out which ones are for the better — and which ones are for the worse. In addition to potentially revealing intimate facts about your sexuality — or your politics, or your religion — this change also greatly reduces Facebook's utility as a tool for political dissent. If Facebook pushes users to start using that, it could have a better stream of content to go against Twitter in the real-time search race.

However, if the goal with these changes was to clarify the privacy settings and make them easier to find and use, then Facebook has completely failed when it comes to controlling who sees who you are friends with.

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morf As the folks at TechCrunch explained last week before the changes debuted: The way Facebook makes its recommendations will have a huge impact on the site's future. Most important, ofr, is the simple fact that as part of this transition, Facebook is forcing all of its users to actually pay attention to the specifics of their privacy settings.

Screenshot of a popup to explain why you are seeing this ad. Perhaps most importantly, Facebook has added a feature that we and many others have long advocated for: the ability to define the privacy of your Facebook content on a per-post basis. These changes are especially worrisome because even something as seemingly innocuous as your list of friends can reveal a great deal about you.

These new "privacy" changes are clearly intended to push Facebook users to mmaybe share even more information than before.

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But the reality is different. Some improvement but still a long way to go Facebook's "Download your information" theoretically provides more information allowing you to understand how you are being targeted the description re "Ad topics that are relevant to you, advertisers who have collected information directly from you, information you've submitted to advertisers and your interactions with businesses and organisations you visit morr of Facebook". Facebook will justify the new push for more sharing with everyone by pointing to the new per-post privacy options — if you don't want to share a particular piece of content with everyone, Facebook will argue, then just set the privacy level for that piece of content to something else.

This kind of data mining of social networks is a science Lookking in its infancy; the amount of data that can be extrapolated jaybe "publicly available information" will only increase with time. The privacy "transition tool" that guides users through the configuration will "recommend" — Lookibg by default — the setting to share the content they post Lookng Facebook, such as status messages and wall posts, with everyone on the Internet, even though the default privacy level that those users had accepted ly was limited to "Your Networks and Friends" on Facebook for more details, we highly recommend the Facebook privacy resource and blog post from our friends at the ACLU, carefully comparing the old settings to the new settings.

Facebook sometimes only tells you that there was a CUSTOM interaction with a given maaybe or website, leaving users in the dark as to how, when and where this interaction happened, and how consent was obtained. And that's just the start.

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The new changes are intended to simplify Facebook's notoriously complex privacy settings and, in the words of today's privacy announcement to all Facebook users, "give you more control of your information. Being a free speech organization, EFF is supportive of internet users who consciously choose to share more on Facebook after weighing the privacy risks; more online speech is a good thing.

Of all the PI staff who took these steps, everybody found at least a few brands or advertisers that they had never heard of.

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Looking at the limited and often inaccurate information provided by Facebook through its "Download your Information" tool, it became quickly obvious that something was wrong. In conclusion, we at EFF are worried that today's changes will lead to Facebook users publishing to the world much more information about themselves than they ever intended.

So, for example, if you only want your close friends to see a particular photo, or only your business colleagues to see a particular status update, you can do that — using a simple drop-down menu that lets you define who will see that piece of content. Right now, most people don't share their content using the 'everyone' option that Facebook introduced last summer.

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In the meantime, those users who care about control over their privacy will have to decide for themselves whether participation in the new Facebook is worth such an extreme privacy trade-off. Considering that many if not most users have ly simply adopted the defaults offered by Facebook rather than customizing their privacy settings, this is an especially good thing. The Good: Simpler Privacy Settings and Per-Post Privacy Options The new changes have definitely simplified Facebook's privacy settings, reducing the overall of settings while making them clearer and easier for users to find and understand.

As we demonstrated, the information Facebook gives you about advertisers is often inaccurate.