Facebook to Give Users Way to Turn Off Third-Party Services

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Update: Facebook announced today that it will be rolling out simplified privacy settings starting tomorrow.

Original Article: Facebook privacy concerns have been around for as long as Facebook itself has, but since F8, the company's developer conference last month, the concerns have never been so public, or so rampant. F8 of course kicked off Facebook's Open Graph initiative, connecting more of the web together through Facebook profiles and info, injecting public user information into sites numerous websites.

It is the clarity around just what is considered public information that has gotten so many people riled up. That and privacy settings that have often been described as overly complex.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg wrote a letter to users, published in the Washington Post. In it, he addresses the concerns, and promises some solutions.

In the letter, he says, "There needs to be a simpler way to control your information. In the coming weeks, we will add privacy controls that are much simpler to use. We will also give you an easy way to turn off all third-party services. We are working hard to make these changes available as soon as possible."

Facebook's Open Graph

"We have also heard that some people don't understand how their personal information is used and worry that it is shared in ways they don't want," adds Zuckerberg. "I'd like to clear that up now. Many people choose to make some of their information visible to everyone so people they know can find them on Facebook. We already offer controls to limit the visibility of that information and we intend to make them even stronger."

A recent survey of 1,588 Facebook users by security firm, Sophos, found that 16% of those polled have already stopped using the social network due to inadequate control over their data. That said, Facebook is expected to close in on 500 million users next month, and despite the privacy concerns, the Open Graph is likely to keep Facebook growing.

Chris Crum
Chris Crum has been a part of the WebProNews team and the iEntry Network of B2B Publications since 2003. Follow Chris on Twitter, on StumbleUpon, on Pinterest and/or on Google: +Chris Crum.

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