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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

TECH NEWS: New Control Over Privacy on Facebook!


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By SOMINI SENGUPTA, nytimes.com / Published: August 23, 2011.

Privacy worries have bedeviled Facebook since its early days, from the introduction of the endless scroll of data known as the news feed to, most recently, the use of facial recognition technology to identify people in photographs.

At the nub of all those worries, of course, is how much people share on Facebook, with whom and — perhaps most important — how well they understand the potential consequences.

The company has struggled to find a balance between giving users too little control over privacy and giving them too much, for fear they won’t share much at all. Seeking a happy medium, Facebook announced changes on Tuesday that it says will help users get a grip on what they share.

When the changes are introduced on Thursday, every time Facebook users add a picture, comment or any other content to their profile pages, they can specify who can see it: all of their so-called Facebook friends, a specific group of friends, or everyone who has access to the Internet. These will be indicated by icons that replace the current, more complicated padlock menu.

Similar controls will apply to information like users’ phone numbers and hometowns and whether they like, say, death metal bands, on their profile pages. Users will no longer have to seek out a separate privacy page to tweak who sees how much of that personal information. Nor will they have to bother to remember what those settings were.


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