Amongst the changes on ‘information we collect when you interact with Facebook', it has now changed its policy to state that it keeps track of ‘some of the actions you take on Facebook, such as adding connections (including joining a group or adding a friend, becoming a fan of a Facebook page, joining a group or an event), creating a photo album, sending a gift, poking another user, indicating you 'like' a post, attending an event, or authorising an connecting with an application'.
In information from other users, it has removed the line which states ‘you can limit who can see that you have been tagged in a photo or video – which we refer to as photos or videos 'of me' – in your privacy settings'.
The most notable change comes to the section that was formally known as ‘Information You Share With Third Parties', and has been rephrased as ‘sharing information on Facebook'. It has removed sentences that specify that it has designed its privacy settings to enable how users share their information on Facebook, and that users should review the default privacy settings to make sure they reflect their preferences.
The details on sharing contact and personal information have been clarified to specify that no information is required except for an email address, and it recommends review of users' personal settings.
Following the enhancement of application notifications, it has changed the language to ensure that users are aware that Facebook has no control over applications. It has also cleared up the language regarding applications' right to general information on a user.
However blogger Nick O'Neill, writing on the allfacebook.com blog site, was critical of this announcement, claiming that while a user may never have signed up for a specific site, Facebook may begin giving away their data without their permission.
He said: “While Facebook usually launches privacy settings that give the users more granular control, there are also occasions during which the company crosses the line and this could end up being one of those instances. Facebook's current defence for this new program is that ‘in such instances, we would only introduce the feature with a small, select group of partners and we would also offer new controls'.
“Granted, we are not totally clear about the instances in which Facebook will share your information, but it's pretty clear that this is another sort of ‘opt-out' feature that led to a heated privacy debate years ago. In addition to potentially sharing your data with participating sites the moment you visit them, Facebook is announcing some other privacy changes, including a previous emphasis on adding ‘a location to something you post'.
F-Secure has also warned of rogue anti-virus that one of its analysts saw ‘wreaking havoc on a friends list'. It claimed that once installed on one friend's account, the application tags 20 friends into a picture and if a friend looking through the photos then clicks on the application's link, they will see a request to allow access to ‘Anti-Virus in Focebook' (spelt incorrectly).
A user with a lot of friends may end up with a series of albums. F-Secure claimed that Facebook is already in the process of removing and preventing such rogue apps.