Vague Facebook Announcement about Simplified Privacy Controls

Ryan Singel at Wired has been following the recent privacy developments at Facebook pretty closely. He just posted an announcement from the social network service’s head of public policy, Tim Sparapani.

“Now we’ve heard from our users that we have gotten a little bit complex,” Sparapani said a radio interview Tuesday. “I think we are going to work on that. We are going to be providing options for users who want simplistic bands of privacy that they can choose from and I think we will see that in the next couple of weeks.”

That’s it–“bands of privacy” in a couple of weeks. As Singel explains, these new controls likely will not reverse the last set of changes in the underlying controls, the move to share more of users’ data and make some of that sharing non-optional. The announcement was made on Tuesday’s Kojo Nnandi show where Singel also appeared.

Unfortunately, even as Sparapani gave some ground to critics during that appearance, elsewhere in the same interview he spins rhapsodic about Facebook’s features. This particular quote, though, made my stomach turn.

“We have customized every single website out there for people choose to have it,” Sparapani said in another portion of Tuesday’s interview, which you can watch below. “That is an extraordinary gift to the public.”

How about a better gift to the public, one of living up to the original promise to keep our private data private? Or a lesser but still good one of living up to the principles Facebook espoused in the wake of the last majority privacy kerfuffle?

One Reply to “Vague Facebook Announcement about Simplified Privacy Controls”

  1. These changes are likely to result in even less privacy. Whenever Facebook has made changes to their privacy controls, and the new categories don’t exactly match the old ones in scope, what do you do with what remains? What Facebook does is make what remains public.

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