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New Facebook privacy controls keep little private

350 million users will be affected by new privacy settings that could leak content outside the site

New Facebook privacy controls keep little private
Facebook's new privacy changes are pushing users to publicly share even more information than before.

Facebook's new privacy controls, which started rolling out yesterday, keeps little private with Publisher content such as status updates, photographs, videos and links being automatically made visible to everyone.

In an open letter released on December 1st, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said: "The plan we've come up with is to remove regional networks completely and create a simpler model for privacy control where you can set content to be available to only your friends, friends of your friends, or everyone."

The problem however is that the Transition Tool put in place to help users review and update privacy settings promotes ‘everyone' updates as the new default, so unless a user changes that selection there's no control over how their content may be used.

Facebook's privacy policy clearly states that if a user deletes any ‘everyone' content posted, it will be removed from their profile but that they will "have no control over its use outside of Facebook".

Leading tech blog TechCrunch calls it a fiasco with writer Jason Kincaid referring to the move as a potential ‘disaster in the making'. Even the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EEF), which champions public interest in issues affecting digital rights, is alarmed.

"These new "privacy" changes are clearly intended to push Facebook users to publicly share even more information than before. Even worse, the changes will actually reduce the amount of control that users have over some of their personal data," the EEF writes.

Several Facebook users have already complained about the new privacy plan through the service's blog section, leaving angry and anxious comments while a few are calling for the old privacy settings to be brought back.

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