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A View from Erica Naone

Will Facebook's Simpler Controls Mean More Privacy?

Facebook promises to respond to user criticism, but it remains to be seen how far the company will go.

  • May 25, 2010

Facebook’s been under fire in recent weeks for its difficult privacy controls. Experts have pointed out that the company has been marching users down a path of sharing ever more information about themselves. Though the company has touted its fine-grained privacy controls in the past, it’s been criticized particularly for making changes to the default settings that cause users to share more than they may have originally intended.

On stage this morning at TechCrunch Disrupt in New York City, Facebook vice president of product, Chris Cox, promised “drastically simplified” privacy controls, which should be available on the site on Wednesday. Though he declined to give any details of how they will work, the company is clearly feeling the sting of the recent storm of criticism.

It will be interesting to see how the privacy controls actually look. Simpler controls don’t necessarily mean more privacy. It’s entirely possible that it will remain difficult for users to keep the company from making large portions of their data public.

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