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Wednesday, May 26, 2010
Facebook Simplify Privacy Controls Again

After numerous campaigns from users and privacy groups, Facebook is simplifying its privacy controls for one more time the company's CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a news conference on Wednesday.

Facebook said that it is starting to roll out some changes that will make controls a lot simpler. The company focused on three things: a single control for users' content, more powerful controls for users' basic information and an easy control to turn off all applications.

Facebook built one simple control to set who can see the content a user posts. In a couple of clicks, users can set the content they've posted to be open to everyone, friends of their friends or just their friends.

This control will also apply to settings in new products that Facebook will launch going forward. So if a user decides to share their content with friends only, then Facebook will set future settings to friends only as well.

This single control makes it easier to set who can see all users' content at once, but users can still use all of the same granular controls Facebook has offered.

Second, Facebook has reduced the amount of basic information that must be visible to everyone and is removing the connections privacy model. Now facebook will be giving users the ability to control who can see their friends and pages. These fields will no longer have to be public.

The controls for this basic information can be found at the top of the privacy page in Basic Directory Information. Facebook recommends users make these settings open to everyone. "Otherwise, people you know may not be able to find you and that will make the site less useful for you," Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg explained.

Third, Facebook made it simple to control whether applications and websites can access any of users' information. For all those who don't use any applications or games, Facebook has added an easy way to turn off Platform completely. This will make sure that none of users' information is shared with applications or websites.

The changes come also amid complaints about recently announced features, including "instant personalization" that tailors other websites to users' Facebook profiles. For all those who simply want to turn off instant personalization, Facebook has today made that easier. Already, Facebook's partner sites can only see things users have made visible to everyone. But if users want to prevent them from even seeing that, they can now turn off instant personalization completely.

Zuckerberg added that after the recent changes, Facebook is migrating away from the old network-based privacy model.

"I am pleased to say that with these changes the overhaul of Facebook's privacy model is complete. If you find these changes helpful, then we plan to keep this privacy framework for a long time. That means you won't need to worry about changes," Zuckerberg said.

"Of course we'll continue responding to your feedback and making things simpler. But after our recent changes we're now done migrating away from the old network-based privacy model. Our new model will help the Facebook community grow to millions of more people around the world," he added.

Facebook will be rolling out these changes over the next few weeks.

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