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Discussions of Facebook Privacy (or Lack Thereof) Burning Up Blogosphere

Facebookicons "Facebook privacy" discussions and complaints are dominating the blogosphere lately. Legal bloggers (such as "Ken" from Popehat) and countless others are writing daily about why they are reluctantly leaving Facebook. As Ken writes,

staying on Facebook requires either (1) that I abandon the notion that I have any control over who sees, and profits from the use of, my data, or (2) that I engage in an increasingly tedious and difficult struggle to figure out, and exercise, the diminishing amount of control that Facebook is willing to give me over the privacy of my data.

The noise level has gotten so high that Facebook reportedly held an "all hands" meeting late last week to to discuss the social network's privacy strategy. Now the ACLU is even getting involved, and has launched a petition asking supporters to tell "tell Facebook loud and clear that you want control of your personal information" and that Facebook’s founder Mark Zuckerberg's position that “the [privacy] default is social” does not match what its users want.

On Friday, Lawyerist had a post that offered a helpful suggestion to Facebook users seeking more privacy. Lawyerist noted that users can hide their Facebook profiles from employers or random people trying to find information about them by a quick tweak on their account settings:

Under Account Settings > Privacy > Search, you can uncheck the box that allows your Facebook page to show up in public searches. Uncheck it, and if random people on the internet are trying to find you, your page should not show up.

Unfortunately, there are many, many different settings that privacy-seekers on Facebook must navigate to avoid Facebook's "social" default, but the one flagged by Lawyerist is a simple one to get started with.

Posted by Bruce Carton on May 17, 2010 at 12:22 PM | Permalink | Comments (8)


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