Many in the tech world lashed out
at Facebook's privacy overhaul
with alarm and disdain. But is all the handwringing overblown? While privacy infringement remains a concern, a
minority of tech bloggers are focusing instead on innovative changes and
helpful improvements made to the social networking site. Here's what
Facebook got right:
- Simpler and More Customizable, writes Kevin Bankston at Electronic Frontier Foundation: "The new changes have definitely simplified Facebook's privacy
settings, reducing the overall number of settings while making them
clearer and easier for users to find and understand...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. 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."
- Encourages Responsibility, writes Robert McMillan at Computer World: "To date, between 15 and 20 percent of Facebook's 350 million users take
the time to adjust their privacy settings. But with the changes
unveiled Wednesday, all users will have to go through a privacy
configuration wizard to set their preferences."
- Puts Users in Control, writes Tom Eston
at Spylogic. He makes the case for Facebook's increased customization
and online security: "The new way privacy settings are managed is a
good thing. It's easier to find and navigate through the settings. The
ability to fully customize privacy settings on all the content
you post. So for example, you can specify if you want everyone on the
Internet to view your status updates or
Friends, Friends of Friends and Custom." Eston also likes that Facebook
requires a user password when changing privacy settings: "It's just
another layer. Now, this doesn't help much if you
have a keylogger installed but it seems they put this in to prevent
bots that may have taken over your account access to your settings.
Again, not fool proof but another layer."
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