Todd went on about the new Facebook privacy changes in today’s podcast. He was rather miffed.
So am I.
If you use Facebook, check your privacy settings carefully, particularly the ones under “Applications.” Facebook’s defaults are to let anyone in, especially Facebook’s “partners.”
Opt out information is here, courtesy Todd.
The ACLU is also miffed. From an email I received today:
The first sentence on Facebook’s privacy guide page states: “You should have control over what you share.” But many of Facebook’s recent actions, such as its much-criticized “privacy transition,” have made it harder for users to retain control over their information.
Earlier this week, following up on its recent policy changes, Facebook announced its plans to create more dynamic profiles using “Connections.” What exactly counts as a connection wasn’t clearly defined but seems to include things like friends lists, likes and interests, events, groups, and activities.
More importantly, it’s also unclear whether users will have real control over how their connections are shared. Both Facebook’s Monday announcement and its recent policy changes have suggested that users cannot prevent applications (also know as “apps”), pages, and other third parties from accessing these connections. They may be able to “hide” them from other Facebook users but not from the government, advertisers, or anyone else with the ability and incentive to create apps or pages. However, new documents for app developers point to the Extended Permissions page which requires apps and pages to explicitly ask for user permission before accessing various “connections”—including interests, events, groups, and location.
If Facebook believes that you “should have control over what you share,” it should resolve this by giving users real control over whether their connections can be accessed by apps and pages. Doing so still won’t resolve other issues, like the “app gap” that allows your friends’ applications to view your personal information without your knowledge or consent, but it would be a step in the right direction.
Otherwise, the only way you can keep control of your information is to refuse to use Facebook to share or connect at all.
More from the ACLU here.