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Facebook Privacy Changes Revealed

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On the 27th of April, Facebook has changed many privacy settings which will allow more people (by default) to see what you are doing. These updates are in response to growing user concerns about the sites privacy settings, as Facebook admits that some users were finding it too hard to comprehend them. The number of words in Facebook's privacy policy has quintupled in the last five and a bit years, since its setup.

The new privacy settings do allow more people to see more about you, by default. However, users do have the option to opt out, and keep their information more private.

The updates follow protests from users over recent changes that Facebook has made, which many people claim are leaving users unsure of who can see their information, and how much they can see.

Mark Zuckerberg (the founder of Facebook) admitted that Facebook was too complicated, and said that "We needed to simplify controls", whilst allowing people to "be able to share information in the way that they want".

Facebook have delivered on their promises to give users more simplified privacy settings, and more control over who can see what. However they have opened up lots of user data, which by default many more people can see now. Mark Zuckerberg argued that it was not Facebook's goal to make information more private or more open.

Despite this, Facebook's current settings appear to encourage users to share more data about themselves, and as I keep saying, by default they do.

Unfortunately, social networkers don't really have much choice in whom they use, as Facebook has no real competitors in the same market. Yes there are Twitter, Myspace, Bebo, etc. but they are all really in different markets from each other.

Facebook doesn't seem to know which way to turn, but hopefully the new privacy settings should go some way to helping users take back control of their online social lives, rather than the other way around.

Please leave comments with your opinions on Facebook's new updates. Do you think they are good or bad, and do they affect you?

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