Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Facebook’s New Privacy Policy: Share Everything With Everyone!

porkysAre you one of those Facebook users who worries that your boss will see photos of what you did over the weekend? Then you’ll like Facebook’s new privacy policy. It’s designed to make it easier for you to sort and filter who sees what on the site.

But if you’re part of the large group of people who think that nothing is really private on the Web and that everyone should see everything you do online, then you’re really going to like Facebook’s new privacy policy. It’s designed to get Facebook users to share as much as they can with as many people as they can–including people who aren’t on Facebook.

Facebook tries to explain the policy changes in a lengthy blog post here, and you can find a slideshow that accompanied a press conference the company just held here.

But that will make your eyes glaze over. Here’s the short version:

  • Facebook is simplifying the privacy setting controls it offers users. So if you want your pals to see your keg stand from Saturday night, but don’t want your parents to be privy, you should be able to do that more effectively. The company is experimenting with different ways to present the controls.
  • Facebook also wants to encourage people to use the “everyone” setting, which right now just means “every Facebook user.” But the company is going to eventually change that setting to mean “everyone on the Web”–meaning that Google (GOOG) users, marketers, whoever, will be able to find that stuff, too.
  • Facebook wants to expand the amount of data its users share with the world because the company thinks that the more exposure data get, the more valuable the data become. But it is doing its best to tamp down complaints from users who accidentally end up exposing kid photos or bachelor party snapshots or whatever. Hence the new, improved privacy controls, which are being rolled out before “everyone” really means “everyone.”

I know, I know. That short version wasn’t that short. But you’re going to hear plenty more about this in the coming weeks. Consider this a first chapter.