Facebook unveils new, simplified privacy controls

Facebook simplifies its privacy control settings
Facebook simplifies its privacy control settings

In response to widespread criticism about the complexity of its privacy controls, Facebook has streamlined the system to make it easier for users to protect their personal data online.

CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the new privacy settings in a blog and admitted that they had become too complicated and revealed the new methods of ensuring your private data is kept safe this week.

Four basic settings

Facebook's 450 million users will be given access to the new privacy controls over the coming weeks.

Zuckerberg said in a press conference, and revelaed in a screengrab, that there will be four basic settings: share with 'friends of friends', 'friends only,' 'recommended' or 'Everyone'.

Recommended shares most of your info across your friends list, but limits sharing of your photos and videos with friends of friends.

Facebook cares about privacy

"People think that we don't care about privacy, but that's not true," Zuckerberg added. "There's a balance. More and more people want to share information, and as long as they have good controls over that, I think that's where the world is going."

Speaking about Facebook's policy of sharing data with advertisers, the CEO added:

"The principle is that we don't give any information to advertisers. We target the ads to people ourselves. Advertisers come to us with adverts that they want shown to particular [demographic groups of] people, and we take the ad and show it to the person that we think will be interested in that information.

"So it doesn't matter who you're showing your data to. It doesn't matter whether you share it at all."

The new sharing options are drastically reduced from the six pages of info you had to trawl through before.

Facebook is hoping that this 'one-click' service will finally satisfy users of the site who don't want their information farmed out to other sites.

Adam Hartley