Facebook responds to Google+ privacy

25 Aug 2011

Last week I asked the question of whether Facebook will update its privacy policies with a more open approach that gives users greater control over the content they share, and this week the social network has responded.

The firm is moving privacy controls out of the ‘settings’ menu and into user’s profiles with a view to making it easier for subscribers to control who sees their content. A drop down menu on the main profile page will carry all available settings for pictures, updates and links, and photo tags and posts will now only be placed if users ok them first, rather than the content appearing without approval.

Facebook staffer Chris Cox states the firm is clarifying who can view content in response to consumer concerns “Your profile should feel like your home on the web - you should never feel like stuff appears there that you don't want, and you should never wonder who sees what's there,” he wrote on the firm’s official web page.

Despite pitching the changes as user driven, the fact is Facebook is acting only a couple of months after Google launched a rival social network – Google+ - which CNN notes was already scoring highly for its simpler privacy controls. “Facebook seems to have taken notice of this subtle but significant difference,” reporter John D. Sutter wrote.

It is, however, a move that may dismay hundreds of parents who have joined Facebook to keep tabs on their offspring’s exploits, so we can expect this privacy debate to rumble on for some time yet.

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