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Facebook's new privacy policies incur criticism

05-17-2010 10:51 BJT

BEIJING, May 17 (Xinhuanet) -- The world's largest social network Facebook revised its privacy polices so that users logging on its web site consent to having their information public by default. The move has provoked criticism from user of different kinds.

This means careless users or those who don't have the time to read the items will have their personal information revealed and taken advantage of without being aware of the fact.

On the other hand, those who recognize the "trap" and want to keep their information secret have to go through a series of complex options to do so, and the process is so to cost a lot time.

The new policies incurred criticism of the company from privacy groups, government officials and some of its users, according to

A European group of data protection authorities complained to Facebook in a letter that changes in the company's privacy items have potentially "changed the default settings on its social networking platform to the detriment of a user."

And U.S. lawmakers have been urging the Federal Trade Commission to take action regarding social networking sites' privacy controls, reported.

"There are always trade-offs between providing comprehensive and precise granular controls and offering simple tools that may be broad and blunt," said Elliot Schrage, vice president for public policy at Facebook, according to

"We have tried to offer the most comprehensive and detailed controls and comprehensive and detailed information about them."

Furthermore, even if a user has completed all the privacy settings, there is still a way for Facebook to dig his/her personal information out and make it public. A newly added feature called community pages can automatically link personal data, like hometown or university, to topic pages for that town or university.

The only way to eliminate that information from those pages is to delete personal data from Facebook.

Facebook now has 400 million registered users, half of them logging on to its website every day.

Editor:Zheng Limin |Source: Xinhua

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