Facebook launches new privacy settings to make information security simpler for users

News by Dan Raywood

Facebook is to launch a series of tests to allow simpler control and connection and ensure privacy is better understood.

Facebook is to launch a series of tests to allow simpler control and connection and ensure privacy is better understood.

Chris Kelly, Facebook's chief privacy officer, claimed that ‘the power to share is the cornerstone of Facebook. Privacy and the tools for tailoring what information is shared with whom are at the heart of trust.'

It has moved to simplify privacy settings by putting them all on the same page and by standardising the options provided for each setting so that the choices are always the same.

Kelly also claimed that any overlapping settings to reduce confusion and combine profile fields that are similar will be removed, so you only have to make one decision.

In addition, the social networking site has designed the Transition Tool to respect previous decisions to limit access to information. This will ensure that if settings are selected that restrict who has access to a user's information, those choices are carried over to the new privacy settings.

It has also reaffirmed its commitment to its more than 200 million users by stating that the new tools will alter the policy or practice of sharing personal information with advertisers.

Kelly said: “In the next few days, we will begin to explore how to make the transition to the new settings. In the process, we will be asking you to revisit and reaffirm the way you present yourself on Facebook. To do this, we will be offering a Transition Tool that asks you to select your own level of sharing.

“We think Facebook is most useful when people can find and connect with each other, which is why this tool will enable you to make available those parts of your profile that you feel comfortable sharing in order to facilitate better connection. You will have the choice of being as open or as limited in the sharing of this information as you want.”

Facebook claimed that a small number of users will be asked to test the Transition Tool, and once feedback has been collected it expects to offer final versions of the tool and the new settings to all users.

“We're committed to giving people even greater control over the information they share and the audiences with whom they share it. At one extreme, we believe people should have the tools to ‘broadcast' information across the web and make it available to everyone,” said Kelly.

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