Facebook revamps controls for sharing personal information online

Facebook is calling on its more than 350 million users to review and update their privacy settings using a new set of tools based on feedback from users.

Facebook is calling on its more than 350 million users to review and update their privacy settings using a new set of tools based on feedback from users.

The move comes as Facebook replaces it original regional and network-based privacy model with a simplified system common to all users around the world.

The new system enables users to share each piece of content on their Facebook page with 'friends', 'friends of friends', 'everyone' or use a customised setting.

"Regional networks now have millions of members and we have concluded that this is no longer the best way to control your privacy," said Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg in a blog post.

Users of the social networking site are being asked to choose between keeping their old privacy settings or accepting recommendations from Facebook.

Privacy groups have expressed concern that the recommended setting shares too much information.

"The recommendations are designed to help people connect and share, consistent with the reasons they joined Facebook," the firm said in a statement.

Facebook claimed the recommended setting shares information in a responsible way by taking into account how users have shared information previously and recognising that users may consider some information more sensitive.

Sensitive information such as phone numbers are assigned a more restrictive recommendation, the social networking site said.

Facebook's revamp of its privacy settings model comes ahead of a planned tie-up with Google in January.

Google will carry real-time updates of those adult Facebook users who have agreed to make some content available to everyone. Use of the setting is restricted for minors.

"Facebook is transforming the world's ability to control its information online by empowering more than 350 million people to personalise the audience for each piece of content they share," said Elliot Schrage, vice-president of communications at Facebook.

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