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In December of 2009, when Zuckerberg posted an open letter on the Facebook blog announcing the elimination of regional networks, he explained that there would be new privacy settings in store for users. The new settings would allow users to control who in their network could view their activities on Facebook, but many complained about the new settings.
In one instance, users in California are suing the company for the security interface implemented in 2009, describing it in their lawsuit as “misleading, confusing and disingenuous.”
"The privacy setting procedures are grossly ineffective, and users are misled into allowing Facebook to having their personal information easily accessed for commercial use, exposing them to identity theft, harassment, embarrassment, intrusion and all types of cybercrime," said the lawsuit, as documented by Computer World.
Prior to enacting the privacy changes, Zuckerberg said publicly that Facebook had “made a bunch of mistakes” and mentioned the company was looking for a “simpler way to control your information.” He also said that the company "missed the mark" with the current privacy-determining process, reported Techcrunch.com.
Facebook recently settled a separate privacy lawsuit out of court for $9.5 million. A federal judge approved an out of court settlement regarding the solicitation of user purchasing information through Facebook’s Beacon Group. The Beacon Group was established as a tracking device that monitored user behavior. Facebook eliminated the group in 2009, reported PC World.
After listening to users’ feedback both in and out of the courtroom, Facebook announced new changes to the privacy settings May 26 for easier and greater control over the information a user chooses to share. The new settings will offer “a single control for your content, more powerful controls for your basic information and an easy control to turn off all applications,” according to Zuckerberg’s latest post on the Facebook blog.
There is now a single interface for privacy settings, which will allow users to easily set who can view the content they post. The amount of basic information visible to the public will also be reduced. In addition, a user can directly shut down applications or websites from accessing one’s information.
Zuckerberg also noted that if these changes sit well with the users, he will not plan for new privacy models in the future. “…the overhaul of Facebook's privacy model is complete. If you find these changes helpful, then we plan to keep this privacy framework for a long time.”
Stay tuned for The Epoch Times report on the new privacy settings.