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Facebook Masks Worse Privacy With New Interface

CmdrTaco posted more than 4 years ago | from the it's-a-book-of-faces dept.

Privacy 446

An anonymous reader writes "Facebook launched new privacy settings this week. Cosmetically, this means that the settings are explained more clearly and are marginally easier to manage. Unfortunately, some of the most significant changes actually make preserving privacy harder for its users: profile elements that could previously be restricted to 'Only Friends' are now designated as irrevocably publicly available: 'Publicly available information includes your name, profile picture, gender, current city, networks, friend list, and Pages.' Where you could previously preserve the privacy of this information and remain publicly searchable only by name, Facebook now forces you to either give up this information (including your current city!) to anyone with a Facebook account, or to restrict your search visibility — which of course limits the usefulness of the site far beyond how not publicly sharing your profile picture would. That Facebook made this change while simultaneously rolling out major changes to the privacy settings interface seems disingenuous."

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DON'T LIKE iT? DOn'T USE IT !! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30388114)

DON'T LIKE iT? DOn'T USE IT !! There, now you know.

And don't whine to your mama !!

Re:DON'T LIKE iT? DOn'T USE IT !! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30388160)

Yes, tell that to the hundreds of millions of users who are already using it and may have just had their privacy exposed. Good plan.

Re:DON'T LIKE iT? DOn'T USE IT !! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30388278)

So cancel your account, wise guy. Jeez, people are stupid.

Re:DON'T LIKE iT? DOn'T USE IT !! (5, Insightful)

xouumalperxe (815707) | more than 4 years ago | (#30388288)

Yes, but you'd be canceling it now, after the data was exposed to begin with.

Re:DON'T LIKE iT? DOn'T USE IT !! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30388560)

Guess what, if you cancel now and someone searches you tomorrow, THEY WON'T SEE YOU.

Re:DON'T LIKE iT? DOn'T USE IT !! (1)

thejynxed (831517) | more than 4 years ago | (#30388604)

Wrong. That data is still right there in Archive.org's WayBack Machine. Ditto in Google cache, Bing cache, and anywhere else that might have scraped Facebook's pages since then.

Lots of luck there, tough guy.

Re:DON'T LIKE iT? DOn'T USE IT !! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30388640)

well maybe i should STOP USING CAPS and think before i type/troll. WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THAT? nigger

Re:DON'T LIKE iT? DOn'T USE IT !! (4, Informative)

sakdoctor (1087155) | more than 4 years ago | (#30388646)

Not quite.

I cancelled my facebook account around 2 months ago, and there was a two week delay before they actually deleted my profile.
Google had some stuff cached for a few weeks more.

Re:DON'T LIKE iT? DOn'T USE IT !! (5, Informative)

Minwee (522556) | more than 4 years ago | (#30388386)

So cancel your account, wise guy.

You say that as though cancelling your account might somehow lead to your personal information being purged from Facebook's database and your photos removed from their web servers. Where did you get that idea from?

Jeez, people are stupid.

Indeed.

Re:DON'T LIKE iT? DOn'T USE IT !! (5, Insightful)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 4 years ago | (#30388504)

Wrong answer, bright boy. DO NOT just delete an account, if you're concerned about privacy. The data remains on the server when you delete.

EDIT your account details FIRST. Change your name to Mickey Mouse, your address to something preposterous like 99999 Lost Highway, Bumfuck, Egypt. Change ALL your details, so that existing data is overwritten. Don't forget anything. Break contact with all your friends, unsubscribe to groups, replace your photo(s) with landscapes of the moon. Use your imagination. Really fuck up the account. Then, leave it ACTIVE long enough for several server backups to take place. Finally - delete the account.

Use your little peabrain for something besides playing pocket pool.......

Re:DON'T LIKE iT? DOn'T USE IT !! (4, Insightful)

clone53421 (1310749) | more than 4 years ago | (#30388614)

Better suggestion: Use fakenamegenerator and come up with something that doesn’t look like an obviously bogus profile.

FB name changes (2, Informative)

jDeepbeep (913892) | more than 4 years ago | (#30388760)

Yes, precisely. Especially considering that FB needs to explicitly approve name changes. I went through the process once, and it was 3 days before they cleared it and my new name showed up.

Re:DON'T LIKE iT? DOn'T USE IT !! (1)

moz25 (262020) | more than 4 years ago | (#30388366)

Yeah, but people have to *know* about it before they can choose to not use it, right?

And don't worry, I've stopped whining to my mama about internet trolls many years ago.

Re:DON'T LIKE iT? DOn'T USE IT !! (4, Insightful)

bmearns (1691628) | more than 4 years ago | (#30388372)

I understand your sentiment: social web services like Facebook are about sharing information, if that's not what you want to do, don't use them. On the other hand, less tech-savvy folks are not always so keenly aware of the implications of such privacy issues.

In b4 poll.. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30388122)

What were?

another upgrade (5, Funny)

lpaul55 (137990) | more than 4 years ago | (#30388134)

I guess it depends on what you want to use this for. Me, I want more attention, so it's all good.

Our privacy is not their concern (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30388144)

I know it's a different company, but what did the CEO of Google say? 'If You Have Something You Don't Want Anyone To Know, Maybe You Shouldn't Be Doing It'. I see Facebook has the same attitude.

Re:Our privacy is not their concern (5, Insightful)

Dreadneck (982170) | more than 4 years ago | (#30388610)

I keep wondering when people are going to figure out that the purpose of social networking sites - from the viewpoint of corporations and government - is to generate a map of every user's interpersonal connections? Honestly, it's not much different from the work I did in the military where we used radio intercepts and radio direction finding to not only locate each radio source, but to figure out its position in the hierarchy.

Once you realize the purpose - so far as corporations and government are concerned - it's not too difficult to understand why 'privacy' is something to be paid lip service only.

The problem isn't the tool (I don't want to be accused of being a Luddite) so much as those who control its implementation and use.

Re:Our privacy is not their concern (4, Insightful)

Shotgun (30919) | more than 4 years ago | (#30388724)

'If You Have Something You Don't Want Anyone To Know, Maybe You Shouldn't Be Doing It'.

I think the CEO said that wrong in this case. What it should be is: 'If You Have Something You Don't Want Anyone To Know, Maybe You Shouldn't Be Posting It On A Public Social Networking Site'

I mean, dang, if you're in the federal witness protection program, why are you posting your picture on Facebook? By requiring the picture and address to be public information, maybe Facebook is saying, "We only want our social networking site to be targetted to people that want to network socially."

Again, if you are THAT concerned about your privacy, WHY are you giving our your 'private' information to people you don't know?

Social networking is not about privacy (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30388148)

Wash me but don't make me wet. If you're concerned about your privacy, you should not be using social networking web sites. Any information you put into these services will leak one way or another, regardless of "privacy settings".

Re:Social networking is not about privacy (5, Insightful)

jareth-0205 (525594) | more than 4 years ago | (#30388476)

If you're concerned about your privacy, you should not be using social networking web sites.

Sociable people often want to communicate... The same people would not necessarily want any person in the world to know what their friends know. And people have different circles of friends, with different levels of communication between them. Facebook has gone some way to catering for this, it's just a shame that they have set the defaults so low.

It's not black-and-white, just because someone would be upset that information leaks someway to somewhere it shouldn't be, doesn't mean we shouldn't make a decent stab at getting it as right-as-possible, and accept that there's always a little risk.

Re:Social networking is not about privacy (1)

Archangel Michael (180766) | more than 4 years ago | (#30388668)

BINGO!

The internet is anything but "Private". It is a "PUBLIC" network. Putting things on MyFace or Spacebook, and even the stupid twits tweeting on twitter are all exposing themselves better than the perv in the park ever could.

I have a Facebook account, and it doesn't use my real name, uses a throwaway email address, doesn't contain any personal information, and I don't use it for "social networking" at all.

So, why do I have it? To keep the idiots from asking me "Do you have a Facebook". I tell them Yeah I do, and not lie.

I tell them if they can find me, they can add me. If they really are my friends, they don't need facebook to talk to me.

So, if you're reading this post, and can find me on facebook, great. Send me a note you're from slashdot, and I'll add you. You already have all the information needed to find me. And good luck with that.

If you want privacy then don't use (3, Insightful)

bl8n8r (649187) | more than 4 years ago | (#30388150)

It seems to me that when you sign up for a social networking site like facebook any of the information you give them is going to be well.. socially networked.

If you don't want your name, address, phone, measurements, work history and other info made available for the whole world to see, DON'T POST IT.

It's odd that anyone wanting privacy would be using a social networking tool when that is precisely what the tool was not designed to do.

Re:If you want privacy then don't use (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30388196)

There's a difference between making your personal information available to just your friends, who may want to know where you are and what you're doing... And then posting a giant neon sign for the entire internet to see saying, "HERE I AM!"

I got on facebook to reconnect with friends. Not to have everyone and their brother connect with me.

What facebook needs is privacy that's more... granular? Would that be the right word?

Re:If you want privacy then don't use (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30388396)

No, there is no difference. Two can keep a secret if one of them is dead. Your online friends identify you, actively and passively. Social networking privacy is an oxymoron.

Re:If you want privacy then don't use (1)

Archangel Michael (180766) | more than 4 years ago | (#30388766)

Most people already have enough information on the internet that if someone wanted to find them, they could be found.

To be found, most people only need to expose their real name, and from that a great deal of "Private" information is already available on the net. If I know where you work, what town you live in, it is even easier to find all sorts of information about you.

Nothing on the web is "private", it is ALL public. That is what it was designed for.

Re:If you want privacy then don't use (5, Insightful)

kevinbr (689680) | more than 4 years ago | (#30388200)

Everything I put on Facebook is public. if I want some secrets I keep it off of facebook. You can watch me walk down the road, watch me shop, watch me play with my kids in the park etc etc etc. Life itself has very few privacy controls when you are in a public space. Facebook is a public space.

You don't need to be my "friend" to see my content.

Re:If you want privacy then don't use (3, Insightful)

Ephemeriis (315124) | more than 4 years ago | (#30388408)

Everything I put on Facebook is public. if I want some secrets I keep it off of facebook. You can watch me walk down the road, watch me shop, watch me play with my kids in the park etc etc etc. Life itself has very few privacy controls when you are in a public space. Facebook is a public space.

You don't need to be my "friend" to see my content.

I think a lot of folks here on Slashdot are a little paranoid about privacy... Or, at least try to sound like they're paranoid about privacy.

The fact of the matter is that there's precious little privacy in the world. When I'm working out in my front yard, I've got no privacy. When I'm shopping or driving or walking down the street, I've got no privacy. At work I've got no privacy.

Why would anyone expect that posting something on the Internet, quite possibly the most public space in the world, would be private?

Re:If you want privacy then don't use (1)

rorin (1175501) | more than 4 years ago | (#30388564)

I can't get no ...privacy.

Re:If you want privacy then don't use (1)

ILongForDarkness (1134931) | more than 4 years ago | (#30388582)

People were relying on the privacy settings so that they could post stuff that only their friends could see on Facebook. For example you might not care that the world can see a picture of you, but you might want your contact details "private" so you can choose by "friending" someone to let them see that stuff, rather than have the idiot from highschool start calling you and harassing you just because it is so easy to find you again on Facebook. That said I think some level of information should be public on the site, because it is essential for it to do its purpose which I think is to help people reconnect with people they want to. Eg, picture shouldn't be private it is something that is probably publicly available already, similarly with things of public record, school you attended for example.

Re:If you want privacy then don't use (1)

Col. Panic (90528) | more than 4 years ago | (#30388594)

i'd wager more than a few work in information security. the longer you work in security fields the more paranoid you tend to become, probably due to reading about breaches over and over.

Re:If you want privacy then don't use (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30388420)

Being visible in public is not necessarily the same as being searchable on facebook. At least if you're not usually walking around with a big fat floating nametag somewhere above your head.

Re:If you want privacy then don't use (5, Insightful)

jareth-0205 (525594) | more than 4 years ago | (#30388496)

Everything I put on Facebook is public. if I want some secrets I keep it off of facebook.

Bully for you. The rest of us have a more subtle approach to social networking. Sometimes we want to share things with some people and not with others. This is hardly strange behaviour.

Re:If you want privacy then don't use (4, Funny)

tylernt (581794) | more than 4 years ago | (#30388214)

If you don't want your name, address, phone, measurements,

If everyone knows my measurement, why do I keep getting penis enlargement spam?!

Re:If you want privacy then don't use (4, Funny)

Spazztastic (814296) | more than 4 years ago | (#30388268)

If you don't want your name, address, phone, measurements,

If everyone knows my measurement, why do I keep getting penis enlargement spam?!

Because everybody has been lying to you.

Sorry to break the news...

Re:If you want privacy then don't use (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30388224)

FB originally allowed privacy, they're now changing the rules. Do you honestly think 200+ million people would have joined if the new privacy policy was there from day one? Of course not. This is bordering on bait and switch.

Re:If you want privacy then don't use (2, Insightful)

error_frey (1665467) | more than 4 years ago | (#30388516)

Are you implying that the majority of those 200+ Mpeople read thoroughly the privacy policy in the first place?

Re:If you want privacy then don't use (1)

Kohath (38547) | more than 4 years ago | (#30388254)

This seems like the point people are missing. Facebook isn't a data vault. It does not exist to protect you from people finding out what city you live in. (Horrors! Someone might find out your current city!!!)

If you can't give up any info about yourself, Facebook isn't for you.

Re:If you want privacy then don't use (1)

turtledawn (149719) | more than 4 years ago | (#30388438)

Horrors! Someone might find out your current city!!!)

You've never had a stalker, have you?

Re:If you want privacy then don't use (2, Insightful)

Nofsck Ingcloo (145724) | more than 4 years ago | (#30388638)

No, but if I had I sure wouldn't be on Facebook publishing my whereabouts.

Re:If you want privacy then don't use (1)

Ephemeriis (315124) | more than 4 years ago | (#30388348)

It seems to me that when you sign up for a social networking site like facebook any of the information you give them is going to be well.. socially networked.

If you don't want your name, address, phone, measurements, work history and other info made available for the whole world to see, DON'T POST IT.

It's odd that anyone wanting privacy would be using a social networking tool when that is precisely what the tool was not designed to do.

I agree.

It's one thing to talk about privacy policies in respect to, for example, generic web searches. If I'm just looking for random information I should be able to expect some degree of privacy. I don't expect Google or Microsoft or Yahoo attach my name and address to my search results and send them to all my friends and family.

But on a social networking site like Facebook or Myspace... Well, the whole point is to be social. You're supposed to be able to find people you know and communicate with them. Maybe meet new people in the area. Find interesting things going on. Etc. If everyone's privacy is carefully protected, how are you going to find anyone?

Re:If you want privacy then don't use (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30388502)

Re:If you want privacy then don't use (1)

orangedan (1643169) | more than 4 years ago | (#30388550)

Though Facebook does need to step up on privacy, not posting information, or even not signing up for the service does not make you immune. People are, as always, the real security leak. I haven't signed up for Facebook, but my friends still tag pictures of me with my full name. Whether I like it or not, I'm still "on" Facebook. Now, all of their "friends", who I may not even know, can now know my name and face, which is a good start to the beginning of identity theft.

The only real way to hide from the internet these days is to hole yourself up in your house and never sign up or purchase any service. Eventually, the data hits the 'net.

What's the complaint? (1, Insightful)

purplebear (229854) | more than 4 years ago | (#30388152)

Oh, that Facebook notified all users of the change and clearly explained it in advance? Is that what's being cried about here? Ok, I get that then. Carry on.

Re:What's the complaint? (4, Insightful)

D Ninja (825055) | more than 4 years ago | (#30388370)

But, it wasn't. Facebook notified that there would be "stronger privacy changes and improvements to better help control your information." Nothing was ever said about, "We're going to make some information available whether you like it or not." And, that's crap.

Re:What's the complaint? (1)

IANAAC (692242) | more than 4 years ago | (#30388432)

You know, since this was announced, I've looked up and down my settings and can't find anything that's changed. And I have most everything set to "Only Friends".

Granted, I didn't go through the walk-through of the new settings - personally, couldn't be bothered with the tutorial - but from what I can see, it doesn't look like a single thing was changed.

Re:What's the complaint? (3, Insightful)

natehoy (1608657) | more than 4 years ago | (#30388524)

No, you wouldn't have noticed a change, because the walk-through explains what portions of your profile are now irrevocably public that used to be subject to the "Only Friends" security setting.

Of course, given that your friends already have access to whatever you've set to "Only Friends", and every app they install has whatever access they have to your profile, the "Only Friends" setting is a tad misleading. "Only Friends, Farmville, Mafia Wars, Lost Sheep, Cute Fluffybunnies, and whatever crapplications your friends might happen to install" might not fit in the space available, though.

Re:What's the complaint? (2, Informative)

E IS mC(Square) (721736) | more than 4 years ago | (#30388538)

Not sure you looked it right. For me, at least my complete profile was available to the whole world, even though, previously, I had set it to make it as private as possible.

I was not worried about exposing some details to the world as I had posted very minimum to start with (effectively, only name and profile pic). But what pissed me off completely was that, during this change, they defaulted it to EVERYONE. If that's not a shitty way to apply 'more' privacy changes, I don't know what is.

Re:What's the complaint? (1)

Cmdr-Absurd (780125) | more than 4 years ago | (#30388578)

can't find anything that's changed

hmm. I had birthday set to nobody. After the "upgrade" it was set to everybody. One or two other settings were similarly affected.

life without facebook??? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30388172)

how were we ever able to crawl out of the caves without facebook?

This is not /that/ bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30388182)

What's really so terrible with someone knowing that you live in some city. It's not as it's hard to find out anyway.

If you don't want anyone to know anything about you; don't share it online!

Also makes social engineering harder (4, Insightful)

TheCycoONE (913189) | more than 4 years ago | (#30388188)

If someone requests to add me to their friend list before, they could hide virtually all the information about themselves from me besides a name which may sound familiar. A curious person may add this person to their friends list because they don't know whether they know the person or not, thus divulging all their information to the party. At least now they'd have to make a profile that put them in a reasonable city and attract friends I know. I could check if they have thousands of friends world wide and probably don't actually know me before I give up my privacy to them.

The information which is forced public is adequate for identifying a person you might know without including more sensitive information like addresses, email addresses, and messages or photographs (besides the profile picture)

Re:Also makes social engineering harder (1)

natehoy (1608657) | more than 4 years ago | (#30388280)

I don't understand why, if someone invites me as a friend, I don't get to see anything about them until after I've accepted the invitation. If someone wants to invite me, I should have some level of access to see their profile so I can see who is inviting me.

But I don't think making that information public to everyone is the correct solution.

No worries, though. I'll just choose the next largest town nearby as my location. People who know me know I live in the general area, people who don't won't get to see my actual town, just the general area that I live.

Re:Also makes social engineering harder (3, Informative)

LandDolphin (1202876) | more than 4 years ago | (#30388364)

I beleive you can require them to submit a message with their friend request that explains who they are or why they want you as a friend.

Re:Also makes social engineering harder (1)

natehoy (1608657) | more than 4 years ago | (#30388422)

Interesting. I'll have to research that. Thanks.

PS: Though the spelling error was present, you didn't add any grammatical errors to your post for my enjoyment, as promised in your signature. As a grammar nazi, I am terribly disappointed by this. Please try harder next time. Thanks! :)

Re:Also makes social engineering harder (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30388580)

PS: Though the spelling error was present, you didn't add any grammatical errors to your post for my enjoyment, as promised in your signature. As a grammar nazi, I am terribly disappointed by this. Please try harder next time. Thanks! :)

Didn't you see the incorrectly capitalized word in the parent's signature? Of course, a "grammar nazi", your ties to the german (German?) language might make you more accepting of extraneous Capital Letters.

Re:Also makes social engineering harder (2, Informative)

TheCycoONE (913189) | more than 4 years ago | (#30388558)

Just checked this, there is no message which goes along with a friend request.

Re:Also makes social engineering harder (1)

clone53421 (1310749) | more than 4 years ago | (#30388566)

I believe I read somewhere that if someone pokes you, you’re given access to their limited profile for 30 days (or something like that). Can anyone verify?

Although I guess it would be a little odd to respond to a friend request with “poke me so I can see your profile, I’m not sure I know you”.

Re:Also makes social engineering harder (1)

TheLink (130905) | more than 4 years ago | (#30388722)

AFAIK Friendster's like that (or used to be anyway) - if you try to add someone as a friend, that someone gets to see your info temporarily. To me it makes more sense that way.

With Facebook you get people trying to add you as a friend, and they have a short name and a picture of a fluffy toy or some other useless crap as their profile pic.

Re:Also makes social engineering harder (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30388608)

You can still hide your friend list from everyone:

How can I hide my Friend List on my profile?

First, click the pencil icon in the Friends box on your profile. Then, uncheck the "Show my friends on my profile" box. People who come to your profile will not be able to see this information.

Re:Also makes social engineering harder (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30388706)

When a person invites you, their profile is completely exposed before you accept the invite. This has been this way for awhile. If the information available is not enough to convince you (I believe you can add someone to a limited profile from the get-go), then you simply reject the invitation.

Furthermore, in the old system, you could accept their friendship and add them to some sort of limited profile before (I have not added or been added by anyone since the new settings have gone live). Now, your options are limited as to what you can hide from them.

That really isn't a problem in their current, or even in their last privacy system. However, the always public details are a bit troubling, and enough to make me consider closing my account again. Hopefully Facebook will pull a U turn as they usually do with these things (I wonder if that's intentional to hide some other change--come out with multiple things, but force one to be obviously bad so that they can "fix" it for us and we'll be happy and ignore the other change?).

Re:Also makes social engineering harder (1)

Otter Popinski (1166533) | more than 4 years ago | (#30388762)

I have a friends list called "Restricted" which is specifically blocked from seeing anything other than what they would already have seen on the search results. When I approve a friend request, I first add them to the Restricted list and check to make sure they are who they say they are. Then they get moved to the general friend population.

It does take a little time to set it up in the privacy controls (you have to go to each and every item, drop the list box, click "custom," and type "Restricted" under "hide this from"), but you may find it worthwhile.

Re:Also makes social engineering harder (1)

zokuga (1452025) | more than 4 years ago | (#30388768)

No...whenever someone makes a friend request, their "Basic Info", which includes their profile pic, their networks, friend list and mutual friends, are viewable to you temporarily

Facebook is not about privacy. (4, Insightful)

QuietLagoon (813062) | more than 4 years ago | (#30388208)

They do not "get" it. I am convinced Facebook does not want to preserve the privacy of its users. When I went to Facebook last night, I was presented with a pop up menu to select my new privacy options. All the defaults were set to looser privacy than I had previously set for my account. I had to manually restore the stricter privacy settings.

.
Facebook does not care about the privacy of its users. Get used to it.

Re:Facebook is not about privacy. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30388418)

Here ya go, fixed that bolded quote:

Facebook does not care about its users. Get used to it.

You're right. And isn't it kinda sad that people just sit there and deal with it. I for one don't actually even sign into Facebook because they strong-arm you into doing things their way.

Whatever happened to giving people/users what they want out of a site. Has Facebook gotten so smug that they feel they can do whatever they want and people will just deal with it.

Screw it, I'm moving over to Zookeroo once it goes live in the next couple of weeks. I know the lead engineer on that project and not only do they value user privacy, but they are going way over the top to make sure that people can have the exact experience they want. There is far more Facebook could be doing beyond even basic privacy of information, but instead of making things better, they are stomping all over people's privacy and wants and laughing all the way.

I can't wait to see them fall on their ass with a confused look and bitch and whine about why people are unhappy with them.

Re:Facebook is not about privacy. (1)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 4 years ago | (#30388428)

what?? a corporation is not looking out for the best interest of its customers?

what is the world coming to?

life HAS to be disney-like. they all told me that as I was growing up. it HAS to be true.

Re:Facebook is not about privacy. (5, Insightful)

natehoy (1608657) | more than 4 years ago | (#30388554)

Um, dude, YOU ARE NOT a customer of Facebook. Their customers are advertisers.

You are the PRODUCT.

Re:Facebook is not about privacy. (1, Insightful)

Ephemeriis (315124) | more than 4 years ago | (#30388448)

They do not "get" it. I am convinced Facebook does not want to preserve the privacy of its users. When I went to Facebook last night, I was presented with a pop up menu to select my new privacy options. All the defaults were set to looser privacy than I had previously set for my account. I had to manually restore the stricter privacy settings.

.

Facebook does not care about the privacy of its users. Get used to it.

I suspect that it is you that does not "get it."

Facebook is a social networking site on the Internet. The Internet is quite possibly the most public place in the world. Anything you post anywhere on the Internet is pretty much guaranteed to show up somewhere you'd rather it didn't - privacy policies be damned. Social networking sites are all about finding and connecting with other people. This is done by being able to see the names, locations, and interests of those other people.

In other words, if you want privacy, you shouldn't be using Facebook.

Where are they making their money? (5, Insightful)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 4 years ago | (#30388222)

It was an eye-opener for me when I realized that television networks are not in the business of putting out quality programming and paying for it with advertising, they're in the business of selling advertising and the programs are the means of attracting enough eyeballs to give that ad time value. "If they can come up with something cheaper than news magazines, comedies and dramas, they'll air it." And sure enough, there's now channels out there specializing in repackaging what are effectively Youtube videos into half hour shows complete with the requisite commercial breaks. You have your police chases, animal attacks, painful stunts, and cute animals. Whatever it takes to keep you fuckers watching until the next commercial break.

So, Facebook's mission isn't to provide a friendly place for friendly people to connect and gee, they just want to make enough money to keep the doors open and break even. I haven't made a thorough exploration of Facebook's business model but it's gotta be something related to selling PI or allowing marketing firms to conduct real world research. I know that stupid farm game gets people to spend real world money on virtual assets. I don't know how much of a rent Facebook charges them for operating on their app.

Re:Where are they making their money? (1)

D Ninja (825055) | more than 4 years ago | (#30388394)

So, Facebook's mission isn't to provide a friendly place for friendly people to connect and gee, they just want to make enough money to keep the doors open and break even.

This just in, a company exists to make money, even at the expensive of its customers. News at 11.

Seriously, anybody who thinks any company (and I mean a company as a whole - not necessarily its individuals) is not about making money at all times (or about putting on a good face so they eventually make more money, etc) is just fooling themselves.

Oh no it is not. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30388460)

they just want to make enough money to keep the doors open and break even.

No. They're going to do an IPO and the principals are doing everything they to make sure they become instant billionaires at the IPO.

As for you Facebook users, there's a KY sale at Walmart - stock up.

Re:Where are they making their money? (1)

Shajenko42 (627901) | more than 4 years ago | (#30388470)

I'm sure that that's what Facebook is doing, but this move doesn't really help with that. If they want to sell your information, wouldn't it make more sense to offer a service that allows you to see any profile regardless of privacy settings (especially if you don't make knowledge of this service widely available to the general public)? Allowing anyone to see more information about everyone else doesn't exactly advance this goal.

Re:Where are they making their money? (1)

Abcd1234 (188840) | more than 4 years ago | (#30388752)

It was an eye-opener for me when I realized that television networks are not in the business of putting out quality programming and paying for it with advertising, they're in the business of selling advertising and the programs are the means of attracting enough eyeballs to give that ad time value.

While that's true of the networks, it's less true for cable, telcos, and satellite, as the dollars per sub those services get from advertising is actually fairly low.

I'm glad I don't have an account (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30388230)

I'm glad I don't have a faceplant account. If I did, I would have told it my city and put a picture and all that on it and had it restricted to friends and it would now apparently be exposed. I don't tell random people on the internet what city I live in. I'll usually go as far as what state in the US I am in (it's a big one), but I don't want people knowing where I am unless they actually already know me. This sounds like a bad move.

privacy (4, Insightful)

ILongForDarkness (1134931) | more than 4 years ago | (#30388244)

Limits socializing, who knew? Seriously though, I have some friends from highschool that I wouldn't mind getting back in contact with and tried to look up on facebook. But with a common name like Mike Smith and no profile picture or friend information how are you supposed to find people? Maybe these people don't want to be found but that seems to be odd seeing as you have a Facebook profile. If you only want to have contact with people you are already in contact with something else would work, eg. email, Facebook IMHO is meant to help people find people they've lost contact with. This is impossible with too much privacy on the site.

Re:privacy (1)

Ephemeriis (315124) | more than 4 years ago | (#30388472)

Limits socializing, who knew? Seriously though, I have some friends from highschool that I wouldn't mind getting back in contact with and tried to look up on facebook. But with a common name like Mike Smith and no profile picture or friend information how are you supposed to find people? Maybe these people don't want to be found but that seems to be odd seeing as you have a Facebook profile. If you only want to have contact with people you are already in contact with something else would work, eg. email, Facebook IMHO is meant to help people find people they've lost contact with. This is impossible with too much privacy on the site.

Exactly.

Set your privacy too high and nobody can find you.

I'll get an invite from someone whose name looks familiar, but I don't recognize it. And they've got their security cranked up. Where do they live? Did I go to school with them? Do they know one of my friends? Are they a distant family member? Who knows!

If you want to be found, you need to sacrifice some privacy.

If you don't want to be found, what the hell are you doing on Facebook?

To Facebook's Credit... (1)

WebmasterNeal (1163683) | more than 4 years ago | (#30388266)

When user's stage a revolt, much like this Slashdot posting is doing, they typically listen to the users and make some changes. All it takes a group or two with a few hundred thousand users (the site has 350 million) and they take notice.

My only complain would be if Facebook listed me in the search engine results, which they currently allow me to disallow this. The reason being is I prefer my person website to rank 1st in Google over all these other sites I'm on.

Re:To Facebook's Credit... (1)

natehoy (1608657) | more than 4 years ago | (#30388714)

Of course they do. They want to keep the product (users) happily putting information on there so the customers (advertisers and app writers) can buy it. Can't have the sheep mounting a revolt, now can we?

And before someone accuses me of seeing Facebook users with contempt, might I point out that I am one? Baaaaa-a-a-aa.

Smackdown (4, Insightful)

whisper_jeff (680366) | more than 4 years ago | (#30388270)

While I realize that the best way to preserve your privacy online is to not sign up for sites like Facebook, the fact remains that Facebook appears to be intent on being free and loose with people's details despite constant pressure to allow people to control access to that information. Each time they "fix" their privacy issues, they just shift it to another aspect. They aren't really changing anything - they're just moving things around. Until they get a massive smackdown that makes them realize it's not profitable to keep up this shell game with their user's private information, they will continue just moving things around, making "this" thing private while making "that" thing available to the public.

But, like I said, if it's really a massive concern, just don't sign up for a Facebook account...

dammit, facebook (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30388286)

I do not appreciate Facebook bringing privacy settings to the attention of a certain woman who I may or may not have been cyber-stalking for the past 10 years, causing her to change her settings and making her profile no longer visible to me.

I say that in the least creepy way possible.

Give false info (4, Informative)

petes_PoV (912422) | more than 4 years ago | (#30388312)

Nothing they require is verifiable, so just make it up. After all it's an online medium so no-one cares what you look like, which city you sleep in or whether you wear dresses, or ties (or both - but not together: that's just weird).

Likewise, when sites ask for security questions such as pet's name, there's no obligation to give a truthful answer: just one that you will consistently give to that site when asked that question. It's the internet - you're not even a number here.

Re:Give false info (2, Insightful)

Ma8thew (861741) | more than 4 years ago | (#30388682)

That makes no sense. Facebook requires very little info from you, but you'll just confuse your friends by listing false details.

Re:Give false info (1)

canajin56 (660655) | more than 4 years ago | (#30388726)

whether you wear dresses, or ties (or both - but not together: that's just weird).

I respectful disagree! [fancydressheaven.co.uk] Also this one. [costumesupercenter.com] And for completness, a dress made of ties! [atasda.org.au] (Though I guess that's not a good candidate for proving it's not weird).

Facebook - worse-er and boring-er by the day (3, Insightful)

snotclot (836055) | more than 4 years ago | (#30388320)

Every day, facebook becomes worse and worse. The apps are pointless, and the site is slower and cumbersome (compared to its spritely version in 2004 when it came out). It is fun to be tagged in photos with your friends, and to post on each others' "walls", but that's about it. During college it was great to use, since everyone is growing up and want to meet new people. However, after college theres not as much use for it and I find myself barely using it.. its basically functioning as a "bridge" between when you just meet someone, to when you get their IM and you chat on IM instead.

The only thing keeping facebook going is that its achieved critical mass. I can see Google one day knocking out Facebook easily, since everyone now has gmail and eventually Facebook will need to move from "stupid, 3rd party, spyware apps" to real apps such as Calendars, maps, and such -- and google already has these features.

Zuckerberg should have sold for $750 million or whatever was offered.

Seems OK (0)

hey (83763) | more than 4 years ago | (#30388334)

I think Facebook is being on the up-and-up on this.
When I logged yesterday there was a big modal dialog box (thickbox?) giving choices.
The defaults were to keep stuff private.

Re:Seems OK (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30388406)

No.. The defaults were to open things up... I had to manually select options to restrict back to what I had...

Re:Seems OK (1)

LandDolphin (1202876) | more than 4 years ago | (#30388500)

My old defaults were set to "friends only". When I logged on today, it did promt me to make new selections. However, everything was defaulted to "everyone". But, I only have "Public" information about me on Facebook anyways, so no big deal.

Awww, boo hoo... (-1, Troll)

Evil Shabazz (937088) | more than 4 years ago | (#30388346)

The naive narcissists still fawning over getting to have their own web page about nothing but THEM are now sad that people will actually SEE that webpage. Awww, boo hoo... Guess what, folks - you're not paying customers, you're using a free service. You don't like it, don't use it.

Anonymous Coward (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30388468)

feces book hysteria... duh'... no thanks, not for me.

Friends List (4, Informative)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 4 years ago | (#30388484)

Your friends list can be hidden from strangers, it's just not in the privacy settings.

You have to go to your profile page, then click the pencil icon in the upper right corner of the friends box. Uncheck 'show my friends in my profile'.

It will still show your friends to your other friends, though.

Boo-Hoo (0, Troll)

Lieutenant Buddha (1660501) | more than 4 years ago | (#30388490)

It appears people still don't understand that Facebook is a company and a BUSINESS. Not a government institute, not a public service. Making money is their sole purpose. Anything else they do is just a means to make that money. People seem to think they can have some expectation of privacy from Facebook when their primary business model is advertising revenues. The way to make the advertising most effective is to base it on your information. Why should they care who you want to see it or what you want done with it? I'd say you're lucky they aren't selling your personal information en masse to advertisers, and they very well may be. If you put your information on Facebook, you should be aware that you are forfeiting all rights to it and you have no right to demand it be private. The people who complain about Facebook not having enough privacy are the same people who complain about Google knowing your search history. It's time to grow up now, this is how the world works.

greg...let's go to the map! (5, Funny)

phillipao (951639) | more than 4 years ago | (#30388498)

so you can't hide your city anymore...carmen sandiego is FUCKED

Data mining sites (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30388536)

Facebook, Twitter and other "social networking" sites are nothing but poorly disguised data mining enterprises at best. Privacy? What privacy!? There never was any privacy on these sites to begin with. Every bit of data you give them is sold to whoever will pay for it.

It's not a matter of don't like it / don't use it (1)

joeflies (529536) | more than 4 years ago | (#30388568)

I see a lot of comments here stating that if you don't like it, don't use it.

The crux of the problem is that facebook did not tell users that the access controls changed. Information that was previously had a setting to restrict access to your friends just disappeared

The whole problem is that people didn't know about it to decide that they didn't like it.

Would you be fine if this was a firewall product that suddenly chose to ignore your rules to block low ports in an undocumented change to the access controls, even though it says that it is now advertised as stronger protection than it was before? Of course not, and just saying that "if you don't like it, don't use it" won't fix the problem. We need companies to operate at a higher standard than this.

So what? (2, Insightful)

Carik (205890) | more than 4 years ago | (#30388570)

I use facebook. When someone who isn't one of my friends looks at my profile, they see:
1) My name. Why else would they be looking at my profile?
2) My user photo. This isn't actually me, so I don't care. I didn't want my face up there, so I didn't put a picture of myself in.
3) My website -- actually just my flickr page, since I don't care if people find it. It's not like it has any more information about me.
4) My education and work listings. Again.. I left those up on the grounds that it would make it easier for people to find me, and I don't care if people see them.

So... where's the risk in those? No one can see my current address, because I don't see a need for it. If someone wants to know where I live, they can ask me. If someone wants to know my IM name, they can ask. It's not hard... they can still send me a message, even without declaring themselves my friend. Sure, if I'd filled out every piece of information and it was being shared, I'd be upset. But really... you don't have to fill any of it out that you don't want to, and anything you fill out on a site like FB should be considered to be public anyway.

Remember to block your information from Apps! (5, Informative)

TejWC (758299) | more than 4 years ago | (#30388586)

There is a stupid loophole that still exists where one of your friends can use an app which can access just about any kind of information about you and give it to a 3rd party without you knowing about it. Even if you make a customized setting where certain friends don't get to know certain kinds of information about you, a Facebook app could bypass your own setting and get that information ignoring your "friends" privacy settings.

So remember to go to your privacy settings, then "Applications and Websites", then "What your friends can share about you" and uncheck whatever you don't want strangers to know about you.

It was already public (1)

sab39 (10510) | more than 4 years ago | (#30388612)

If I understand correctly, before this change this information was already accessible not only to any apps you used but any apps that your friends used. Those apps could do whatever they like with it and you don't have any control over what apps your friends use. Also much of it was available to anyone who happened to want to serve an ad on your page.

By designating it as irredeemably public, they're not making privacy worse, they're just admitting what was already true.

I wish they didn't include friends list and pages in the must-be-public information, but I'd rather this approach than having it be ACTUALLY public (because any app can access it) while allowing you to set a setting making it "private" that didn't actually do anything to really make it so.

so whats new? (1)

parallel_prankster (1455313) | more than 4 years ago | (#30388652)

It is expected. Privacy does not work well with any social networking website. If you get on to a social networking website, they want you to make friends, more friends than you normally have. The more you network, the more they make money out of it. Its like the stock market, they dont like money at one place. It needs to keep rolling. The trick to maintaining social networking websites is how little privacy can you maintain while keeping the website relatively safe and secure for users and increase opportunities for people to network. And they can do this only by exposing as much information about people as possible.

Still Can Set Privacy to Only Friends (1)

wisesifu (1358043) | more than 4 years ago | (#30388670)

I was able to keep everything the way it was. I don't know about you but when I went to the privacy controls I had more options including to keeping everything to Only Friends. I think the new controls are well done. I do think that the wizard they had is a bit confusing but I was able to lock everything down from the privacy settings. I think this article may be wrong.

Facebook API (1)

izomiac (815208) | more than 4 years ago | (#30388756)

Changing my privacy settings reminded me to double check my Application privacy settings. Is it just me being unobservant, or has the "Do not share any information about me through the Facebook API" option been stealthily removed?
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