Facebook’s blog states the company has received “lots of feedback”. I’m sure most of this was negative or at least non-positive. As a user of Facebook for sometime now, starting as a way to stay in touch with real friends from the past. That toolbar at the bottom of the page nearly drove me away from using Facebook. That is until I got into playing those annoying, yet addicting games. Then the redesign of Facebook came along and that toolbar, the one which housed my game bookmarks, disappeared. I was upset at Facebook for sometime over the removal of the toolbar and still wish it would make a return.
Enter the privacy issues. First the like button, then the Facebook button on other sites. I am not one to be overly concerned about my publically shared information, especially much of my information on Facebook is shared through my own personal web site. The main issue I have is the ability to choose who and where my information is shared. My Facebook account is both of a personal and business nature. As an example, if I setup a newsletter on my company site, I better make sure it’s double opt-in. This helps to confirm the person submitting their email address genuinely wishes to be on the list. Doing this is perhaps more in my benefit, as this can help to keep me from being blamed for sending spam. Oh and I better have a way for the user to unsubscribe.
An article on CNN informs me that my list of friends has been being made publicly available since the update last December. This is the default setting. Is it too difficult for someone at Facebook to access the field in the database and set all users to not show by default?
According to the company’s blog, an easier way to set privacy settings is coming. My list of friends will now not have to be made public. I applaud Facebook for this step forward. I don’t believe a user should be forced to have to share everything. Allow the user to share which information is shared with whom. However, I do believe some basic information should be required to be shared. I mean, why have an account if you want to hide everything?
The Facebook blog states “we’ve reduced the amount of basic information that must be visible to everyone”. I am waiting to see just what this involves. I for one am not wishing to hide any of my basic information. However, I know some who wish to use their Facebook account for connecting with real life friends and that’s all. I believe this will only a small share of all users of Facebook.
Blocking Third Party Sites
Previously the information set as visible to everyone was seen by partner sites, using a setting called instant personalization. Facebook will offer the ability to turn this off, allowing the user to have easier control over their own information.
Even with all this new streamlined ability to have easier control, the one thing that is constantly floating around my mind is why not set the default setting as not sharing. I believe Facebook should allow the user to decide which information to share, not play catch up and have to decide not to share their information. I understand that companies like Facebook are in the business of making money and all that valuable information at their fingertips is tempting, but shouldn’t it all come down to what the user wishes to share? I for one am standing up and saying “Let me control how my information is shared and with whom, Facebook!”