In response to the huge media and users outrage to the privacy issues of the biggest social networking website Facebook, chief executive Mark Zukerberg said in the Washington Post yesterday that today a new set of privacy controls will be rolled out. Facebook’s VP of product Chris Cox also confirmed in the Techcrunch Disrupt conference yesterday that users can expect a “drastically simplified” privacy controls today.
Until now aside from occasional Q&A sessions, Facebook has largely kept quiet about the outrage media is creating from the dissatisfaction of the site users with privacy controls and issues. Cox tried to justify Facebook’s patience by clearly stating that team did not wanted to give any response but was waiting for a finished set of product [privacy control] that could justify their efforts in ensuring the real concerned privacy issues.
In the Washington post, Mark Zukerberg clearly stated that along with the new privacy control features “we will also give you an easy way to turn off all third-party services”. That one sentence from Mark is really confusing until now. Until now Facebook users had to go through a long process to block/uninstall apps/services they had previously used. But what if they wanted to completely seclude themselves from the apps/services they have not heard of? Until now, there are no features in the privacy setting that can provide such ease.
We still wish that the current privacy settings exist for they provide more flexibility to the users. Until now Facebook had not provided any feature to completely turn off interaction with third party apps/services, for being a social networking site it is solely based on sharing status, information and trying out new services/apps. These third party services keep the site running and have managed to sore Facebook to where it is now, not to mention apps like thousands of quiz apps and games like Mafia Wars and notorious Farmville.
From what it sounds like, the new privacy controls will let privacy fanatic users to lock down every bit of information that they share on the site. With the new features rolled out, Facebook and apps developers may have to sacrifice several features in order to provide users with more control in privacy.