Tag Archives: opt-in

Facebook's New Privacy Controls

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced yesterday that majors changes to privacy settings on the site would begin rolling out today. The world complained – and Facebook listened. Today, Zuck strode onto the stage at the Facebook headquarters in a grey hoodie to give those assembled the run-down on the new settings. To those in attendance, he appeared calm and confident. Somehow, though, I have a feeling that a bit of that cocky demeanor has shifted in recent weeks. Wouldn’t you lose a bit of your brashness if half the world was breathing down your neck? The changes outlined today are pretty major. That is an indication that Mark knows things were seriously screwed up, and he admitted as much during the press conference.

The changes to the privacy settings went into effect almost immediately once the live event started. As Mark reminded us of the Facebook philosophy that “the world is more open and connected when people are driven to share more,” millions of site users stared in wonderment at how simple it appears to be now. According to Mark, people want to share things… it’s human nature. Facebook wanted to make it possible for us to do so from the very beginning. He strongly believes that the best way to accomplish this is to give us control over what we share.

“We’ve gotten the sense that a lot of what we did – we didn’t communicate well and a lot of things got lost in that. We had to simplify controls and take things back to basics. Some things are valuable to share with everyone… but some things should remain private,” Zuckerberg stated quietly. His voice boomed a little louder as he said that it will eventually “get to a point where it’s so hard to control your information that people end up sharing far less, and that is something I never want to see happen.”

Beginning now, there are three major changes to the privacy control area on Facebook, all of which are outlined in a new guide on the site:

  • ONE SIMPLE CONTROL.
  • Changes will apply to all of your content retroactively. For example, if you change a setting today on your photos to only share them with friends, it will roll back and change all pictures you’ve ever posted to be only shared with friends.
  • These changes made today will apply to all new products going forward. If you later want to share your pictures with the world, you’re going to have to change the setting.

The default settings for all of your content can now be set with one single click. You will have “complete control over who sees your information,” says Zuck.

When it comes to your directory information, you will have less publicly available information, real privacy controls and the necessity for friends to find you. For third party apps, there is some excellent news: there is now one checkbox to turn off instant personalization. Mark says it would be “too confusing” to simply turn that off site-wide and start from scratch. Instead, you’ll have the option to click a box and opt-out of instant personalization. If you do, it will automagically delete all of your information from third party applications. This is fantastic news for many people out there who have been highly ticked off by the way their information was handled and processed by these apps.

All in all, the announcements are good. While Facebook didn’t switch everything to an “opt-in” process as many had hoped, they made every effort to keep their network of users happier.

Thanks to @scobleizer for getting this video of the press conference up so quickly!

New Facebook Privacy Settings Tomorrow

Yesterday, we discussed the announcement from Mark Zuckerberg in which he admits that the company has made mistakes when it comes to your privacy settings. Millions of people cannot be wrong when they collectively complain about the way the popular social networking site handles their information and buries privacy settings – making them nearly impossible to find and manage. Zuck and company have historically made sweeping changes without telling members about it ahead of time. There’s always a bit of backlash, but none as loud as what we’ve seen in recent weeks.

Two years ago, Mark told Marshall Kirkpatrick that “privacy control is the vector around which Facebook operates.” When remembering that statement, it is almost impossible to believe we are dealing with the same person. Back then, he talked often of the importance of user privacy. He swore our information would only ever be visible to the people we accept as friends. Perhaps Mark has forgotten he said such a thing? With the way things stand on the site today, nearly everything on your profile is visible and searchable by default. It’s difficult to navigate your way through the various settings and controls to set things up the way you feel they should be, so many people don’t even bother.

The good news is that beginning tomorrow (May 26, 2010) Facebook will begin introducing new simplified privacy controls. Facebook’s vice president of product Chris Cox announced today at TechCrunch Disrupt that the changes will include improved controls. He didn’t give any specific details to the attendees, so I guess we will have to wait and see what tomorrow brings.

Facebook currently has nearly 200 different privacy options and 50 privacy settings. It’s no wonder that the average person gets hopelessly lost when trying to figure out where they need to opt-out. Why the hell do they have to opt-out, anyway? Shouldn’t it be more of an opt-IN scenario? I’ve said many times that you shouldn’t put things on the Internet that you don’t want others to see. However, I know that humans will be human. They will continue to post things that may not be in their best interest. In light of that, the settings should be easy to find, easy to figure out, and they should be all about choosing to opt IN when it comes to sharing information.

T-Mobile webConnect Will Throttle You

The webConnect USB Laptop Stick provides fast, easy wireless Internet access for your laptop by automatically finding the best T-Mobile network connection (3G, HotSpot/Wi-Fi, or EDGE). The service will now no longer charge you an arm and a leg to connect to the Internet. Instead of charging you an overage fee when you pass the 5GB per month cap, you’ll instead have your service throttled. Exact details about how that information will be throttled has not yet been fully disclosed. In the meantime, the 200MB webConnect plan will drop overage fees from $.20/MB to $.10/MB.

The 5GB plan starts at $40, while a 200MB contract is listed at $25 per month. I’m not sure that this is enough of a “plan” to convince me to run off to sign a two year contract. What about you?

There is no overage fees or caps on the amount of software you can get from us! Check back daily to see what’s new.