Kevin Bankston writes:
Five months after it first announced coming privacy changes this past summer, Facebook is finally rolling out a new set of revamped privacy settings for its 350 million users. The social networking site has rightly been criticized for its confusing privacy settings, most notably in a must-read report by the Canadian Privacy Commissioner issued in July and most recently by a Norwegian consumer protection agency. We’re glad to see Facebook is attempting to respond to those privacy criticisms with these changes, which are going live this evening. Unfortunately, several of the claimed privacy “improvements” have created new and serious privacy problems for users of the popular social network service.
The new changes are intended to simplify Facebook’s notoriously complex privacy settings and, in the words of today’s privacy announcement to all Facebook users, “give you more control of your information.” But do all of the changes really give Facebook users more control over their information? EFF took a close look at the changes to figure out which ones are for the better — and which ones are for the worse.
Our conclusion? These new “privacy” changes are clearly intended to push Facebook users to publicly share even more information than before. Even worse, the changes will actually reduce the amount of control that users have over some of their personal data.
Not to say that many of the changes aren’t good for privacy. But other changes are bad, while a few are just plain ugly.
Read EFF’s analysis of the changes on EFF.