New privacy settings
Zuckerberg says Facebook privacy policy is now complete

Social networking is one of the most common activities on the internet. There are millions of users around the world who go to sites like Facebook each day to share their lives and information with friends, family, and industry peers. 

Facebook has been under a microscope of scrutiny after the social network began making significant changes to its privacy settings. The changes were designed to make the network much more open to the public, but some users, privacy groups, and even some in Washington thought the new privacy policy made too much personal information available to third parties. 

Senator Charles E. Schumer sent Facebook a letter in April asking it to reconsider the new privacy policy -- Schumer stated he would be willing to introduce legislation if privacy was not taken into account by Facebook. In mid-May, Facebook executives held a meeting to talk about privacy and the new privacy policy is now being made public.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg made a post to the official Facebook Blog yesterday to outline the new privacy policy and its changes. The main change to the privacy policy is to make things similar for users to control. 

Zuckerberg wrote, "The number one thing we've heard is that there just needs to be a simpler way to control your information. We've always offered a lot of controls, but if you find them too hard to use then you won't feel like you have control. Unless you feel in control, then you won't be comfortable sharing and our service will be less useful for you. We agree we need to improve this."

The focus of the new privacy policy was aimed at three things: first a single control for all users content, more powerful controls for basic information, and an easy control to turn off all applications. Facebook will offer its users a single control that lets them set who can view their content (everyone, friends and friends of friends, or just friends). Zuckerberg promises that setting takes only a few clicks. Perhaps the best news about the feature is that it will apply to all new Facebook products moving forward. That means users won’t have to worry about changing settings each time something new is added to Facebook.

Facebook has also reduced the amount of basic info that is being made viewable to all users of the network. Users will get new control over who can see their friends and pages.  Previously, those pages had to be public. Facebook recommends the users leave them public or people won’t be able to find them online. The third major change is that users can now elect to turn off access to their information by third party applications or games. That means if you don’t play games on Facebook you can turn that off.

Zuckerberg points out that you can still access the more complex and granular privacy controls Facebook has always offered if desired. You can turn of individual products as well, such as instant personalization, which is one of the products that started the privacy backlash.

Gartner Analyst Ray Valdes told 
Reuters that the new policies should help make users concerned about privacy feel more secure. He said, "But there are other voices that will continue -- governments, public sector and privacy advocates. The fundamental issues won't go away. They will reappear over time. Again and again."

"Well, we didn't have anyone in line that got shot waiting for our system." -- Nintendo of America Vice President Perrin Kaplan

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