Good news. Facebook has finally listened. After severe criticism for ignoring the world's privacy norms, Facebook will finally release simplistic, user-friendly privacy settings soon.
"'Now we've heard from our users that we have gotten a little bit complex,' Facebook head of public policy, Tim Sparapani, said in a radio interview Tuesday. 'I think we are going to work on that. We are going to be providing options for users who want simplistic bands of privacy that they can choose from and I think we will see that in the next couple of weeks.'
While it's not clear what those options will look like or if they will be presented to existing users, one supposes that at least new users will be given some broad options to choose from along the lines of 'I'm an exhibitionist,' 'I like sharing with a lot of people, but not everybody' and 'I'm a private person who just wants to share with friends and family.' Currently, new users are set to very public defaults, including having their profile information shared with other online services such as Yelp and Pandora.
The proposed changes are unlikely to reverse the company's December decision to make large portions of a user's profile into 'publicly available information' — which means even if you hide the fact you support a gun rights organization in your profile settings, that's still findable online..." (Read more).
Can't wait that long? Here's two great HowTo options for you, courtesy of WonderHowTo. First, an instructional video on how to opt out of Facebook Instant Personalization, from the EFF (an organization that focuses on electronic and privacy rights):
Here's another simple solution for you: Mashable points us to a simple bookmarklet called Reclaim Privacy. It is very simple to use (as opposed to Facebook's overwhelmingly extensive list of privacy options).
"Reclaim Privacy is an open-source browser-based privacy scanner that automatically inspects your Facebook privacy settings and denotes settings that are risky privacy-wise.
Concerned Facebookers can drag the Scan for Privacy bookmarklet to their browser's bookmarks toolbar, log in to Facebook and click to see which settings 'might be unexpectedly public.'
The results of the privacy scan are displayed above your profile. The scan detects whether or not you've opted-in to Instant Personalization, assesses what types of information — personal, contacts, tags, friends, etc. — you share with your social circle and beyond, and also detects what your friends and/or applications can share about you. Higher risk items are called out with red "insecure" alert buttons and links to the appropriate destination to alter your settings."
**In case you missed all the Facebook upset, here's a link round-up of what's been happenin':
- Gizmodo: 19-Year-Old Facebook CEO Didn't Take Your Privacy Seriously, Either
- Wall Street Journal: Facebook Grapples With Privacy Issues
- PC World: Facebook Debates Privacy Changes, Report Says
- Wired: Facebook's Gone Rogue; It's Time for an Open Alternative
- Wired: Only Old Fogies Hate the New Facebook, Research Suggests
- Huffington Post: Facebook Privacy Settings: How To Fix Your Profile In 2 Minutes (VIDEO)
Big Brother Image Credit.