Facebook Getting Flak Over New Privacy Settings

December 21st, 2009 at 12:00 am

Facebook Logo

Facebook has reported new and improved features on its privacy settings. But it seems that a lot of Facebook users have been complaining about the new changes and has started airing their complaints more and more. It has somehow come to a point that some privacy groups comprising EPIC (Electronic Privacy Information Center) have aired their complaints over to the Federal Trade Commission for proper investigation over Facebook’s latest improvements on its privacy settings.

The main reason why people have been complaining about Facebook’s new privacy features is that although it provides users with more control over setting their privacy settings, it does so with a twist- status updates are set to "Everyone" by default. This means that if the settings are not changed, everybody will be able to see a user’s status updates and not only by one’s friends. But there is more to this that has triggered the complaints.

Probably the most notable issue Facebook users are having about the new privacy controls is that the popular social networking site may be changing its view on remaining a website that takes pride on its privacy. Facebook is now considering having their pages indexed on search engines, making pages that are set to be seen by everyone become a part of search results in the future.

Privacy groups who are vocally complaining believe that the popular website’s move may be invading the user’s right to privacy by allowing disclosure and use of information to third parties such as online search engines that may actually compromise the very thing that Facebook is said to be upholding. One such example cited is that it would be now difficult for Facebook users to completely erase their personal information in case they decide to opt out since their information would now be cached on search engine databases that Facebook doesn’t control.

What the privacy groups want through their complaint is for the FTC to investigate and try to uphold the essence of privacy that Facebook users previously enjoy. The issue remains debatable but is something that a lot of Facebook users are really concerned about.