Feeds

Facebook promises privacy settings to suit 'everyone'

And kills off regional groups

Application security programs and practises

Social network Facebook is road testing new privacy settings to replace the various privacy limits currently required for different applications and content.

Users will be offered a transition tool to help them move their settings across to a new page.

Chris Kelly, Facebook's chief privacy officer, said the company had previously added privacy settings onto new features as they were introduced which led to a confusing and complicated process if a user wished to change settings.

Kelly said the tool was designed to preserve previous privacy settings and that Facebook would not be changing the information it shares with advertisers.

There are six different versions of the transition tool which are currently being tested. Over the next few weeks Facebook will see what feedback it gets from its guinea pigs before rolling it more widely.

The company is obviously keen to avoid a repeat of the disastrous Beacon project.

Kelly said the regional networks would be killed off because they had outgrown their usefulness as the network grew in size. He said the groups were too large and did not allow people to specify accurately enough who they wish to share information with.

In future you will be able to limit access to specified lists of friends or family. Or: "To share with more people and contribute to the general conversation going on in the world, you can select 'Everyone'."

Facebook is pushed in two directions - its users' desire for privacy, at whatever level, versus its need to make money from the content and connections its users provide. The more data available for everyone the more page impressions Facebook gets, and the more money it can extract from advertisers and marketeers. And the more people clicking the "Everyone" button the more it can mimic the likes of Twitter.

Kelly's blog post is here.

The move to improve privacy also comes as regulators in Europe are considering wide-ranging changes to data protection law to ensure that users of social networking sites are adequately protected. ®

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

More from The Register

next story
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
Do YOU work at Microsoft? Um. Are you SURE about that?
Nokia and marketing types first to get the bullet, says report
Microsoft takes on Chromebook with low-cost Windows laptops
Redmond's chief salesman: We're taking 'hard' decisions
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
EU dons gloves, pokes Google's deals with Android mobe makers
El Reg cops a squint at investigatory letters
Chrome browser has been DRAINING PC batteries for YEARS
Google is only now fixing ancient, energy-sapping bug
Big Blue Apple: IBM to sell iPads, iPhones to enterprises
iOS/2 gear loaded with apps for big biz ... uh oh BlackBerry
prev story

Whitepapers

Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.