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Press Release

Press Release

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Published by Facebook

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Published by: Facebook on May 26, 2010
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FACEBOOK REDESIGNS PRIVACY Simplifies Choices and Offers More Powerful Controls
Palo Alto, Calif. May 26, 2010 – Facebook today responded to user comments andconcerns about privacy by announcing it will introduce simpler and more powerfulcontrols for sharing personal information. New settings will give the more than 400million people who use Facebook the power to control exactly who can see theinformation and content they share, all with just a few simple clicks. In addition,new settings will be added to make it easier to turn off third-party applications orwebsites. Facebook Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg officially announced thechanges in a blog post today athttp://blog.facebook.com/
"When we started Facebook, we built it around a few simple ideas," saidZuckerberg. "When people have control over what they share, they want to sharemore. When people share more, the world becomes more open and connected.Over the past few weeks, the number one thing we've heard is that many userswant a simpler way to control their information. Today we're starting to roll outchanges that will make our controls simpler and easier." The company's new privacy controls reflect wide-ranging consultation with theoffice of Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) and a number of online privacy andconsumer advocacy groups. These include the Center for Democracy and Technology, Consumer Action, Future of Privacy Forum, Electronic FrontierFoundation, Progress and Freedom Foundation, NetChoice, CATO Institute, TRUSTe, Technology Policy Institute, and Information Technology and Innovation Foundation. The consultations have proven extremely helpful in both clarifying andcommunicating Facebook's privacy principles, and have greatly contributed to thedesign and implementation of the new privacy controls. These updated controls willstart rolling out today and will be live for all Facebook users in the coming weeks.Zuckerberg first announced Facebook’s intention to make these changes in aWashington Post op-ed (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/05/23/AR2010052303828.html) that detailed principles bywhich Facebook operates:1)People have control over how their information is shared.2)Facebook does not share personal information with people or services usersdon't want.3)Facebook does not give advertisers access to people’s personal information.4)Facebook does not sell any of people’s information to anyone.5)Facebook will always be a free service for everyone.May 26, 2010
 Today’s announcement focuses on the first two of these principles.
Making Control Simple
One control for content: A new simple control makes it easy to share on Facebookwith friends, friends of friends or everyone—all with just one click. Thecorresponding settings are immediately applied and displayed in an easy-to-understand grid. At the same time, Facebook has maintained its more granularsettings for those who want to customize their level of sharing. These settings nowall appear on a single page for easier access.Retroactive control: People who choose the more restrictive "Friends Only" or"Friends of Friends" options with the simple control will have the correspondingsetting for all the content they posted previously for sharing. Thus, a person canmake all the content they've ever shared on Facebook more private with just acouple of clicks.Future products: Facebook commits to carry over people's privacy choices for newproducts that facilitate sharing. Thus, if someone chooses “Friends Only” for“Sharing on Facebook,” new products that have privacy settings will beautomatically set to "Friends Only.” This means Facebook users don’t have to worryabout new settings in the future.Prioritizing simplicity: Granularity of control has always been a primary objective inFacebook's privacy design. Starting with the changes announced today, thecompany will also prioritize ease-of-use in its privacy design.Fewer privacy changes: Facebook’s goal is to make privacy-related changes withless frequency and to work within the framework announced today as it continuesto innovate new features and products.
Less Publicly Available Information
Significantly less public information: Facebook has drastically reduced the amountof information that is available to everyone. This information is now limited toname, profile picture (should a user choose to have one), gender (though this canbe hidden on the profile), and networks (should the user join any).Privacy controls for Pages: Connections to Pages, which were previously available toeveryone, will have privacy settings that work for both ends of the connection.People can prevent others from seeing Pages on their profile and from seeing themin the “People who like this” boxes on the Pages themselves. Applications will alsoneed to ask for explicit permission in order to access any of your Pages that are notvisible to everyone.
Easier Opt Outs
Full control over how applications and websites on Facebook Platform accessinformation: In response to requests, Facebook has added a simple way for peopleMay 26, 2010
to completely turn off Platform applications and websites, so that your informationis not shared with applications, even information available to everyone.Easier opt-out of Instant Personalization Pilot Program: Facebook has also made iteasier for people to turn off the instant personalization program, which preventsthose, and any future, applications in the program from accessing their information.Granular data permissions for applications and websites: Facebook also highlightedthe new controls users have over information shared with applications and websiteson Facebook Platform. With the new data permissions model, applications mustobtain specific approval before gaining access to any personal information that auser has not made available to “Everyone.”
What People Are Saying
"Facebook's users have spoken and made it clear that they want control of theirinformation. Despite all rumors to the contrary, privacy is not dead, it is on its wayto a comeback in the form of simplified controls and better policies,” said LeslieHarris, President,
Center for Democracy and Technology
. “While more work stillneeds to be done, these changes are the building blocks to giving people what theywant and deserve.”"People care about privacy now more than ever. We are pleased that Facebook haspledged to improve user control and choice and we look forward to workingtogether to help them follow through on this commitment,” said Michelle De Mooy,Senior Associate at
Consumer Action
. “We believe the company must work with abroad coalition of consumer and privacy advocates, regulators, and legislators inorder to raise the bar and lead the industry toward empowering and protectingconsumers online. We also hope that this step forward from Facebook will send amessage to industry that strong privacy standards aren't just good policy, they'regood business."“The message that all companies should be taking away from this is that managingdigital identity is critically important to Internet users of all ages and backgrounds.Facebook is taking steps that are essential for user trust by providing users withadditional control over the personal data they share. As sites, services and devicesgrow increasingly complex, the challenge for Facebook and for others going forwardis to continue to seek innovations that ensure that privacy tools can be intuitive forusers,” said Jules Polonetsky, Director,
Future of Privacy Forum
."Facebook's announcement should remind us all that online services activelycompete in the market of public opinion based on their commitment to empoweringusers to make their own choices about privacy," said Berin Szoka, Senior Fellow andDirector of the
Center for Internet Freedom at Progress and FreedomFoundation
. "Facebook has affirmed that commitment by responding to userdemands to allow users to restrict visibility of their friends and their ‘likes,’ and toopt-out completely from sharing of information with third-party applications andMay 26, 2010

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