Facebook is really starting to feel like that nosey relative who stays too long at family get-togethers and asks way too many personal questions. At first, the bombs dropped about how the social media giant was giving away your private information to whomever logged on – including the FBI and other federal agencies – appeared to be a cross over into scary Big Brother type territory. This publicized panic didn’t really discourage anybody from using Facebook, however. Facebook masterminds in suits claimed that the site wasn’t in the business of handing out the personal data of its users and that was pretty much that. Still, bloggers have continued to ride the Facebook conspiracy theory train. And finally this week, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced that the site has put into effect new privacy settings for users, perhaps in an effort to silence all of this “Facebook is watching me” mumbo jumbo.
The new privacy settings are tailored for users to filter out what visitors can and cannot have access to without your permission. The big change is that the amount of visible information available to users has now been shrunk drastically. Only friends will have access to your information, photos and other content, while searchers will only be allowed to see your name and picture. Also revamped is the privacy settings page itself. The newer, slimmed-down model features all-new privacy settings with a one-click button that allows you to share info with friends or friends of friends. The goal is to comfort Facebookers with the notion that they now have the power over what others get to see.
And yet, beneath the surface, not much has really changed. Advertisers and marketers still have access to demographic information and the company is not changing its cash-cow method of handling advertisers. Strangely, the changes don’t seem to address the privacy problems that many have been yammering about for months.
But let’s take this one to the floor. Facebook’s new privacy settings – do they do the trick or are they just a trick to hush the bigger issues at hand? Does Facebook really have a privacy problem, or just a PR problem? Let ‘er rip below!