Facebook Rolls Out ‘Drastically Simplified’ Privacy Controls

Zuckerberg: “We’re really going to try not to have another backlash”

After finding itself on the searing edge of a debate over social media privacy, Facebook rolled out what it promised would be "drastically simplified" privacy controls on Wednesday.

In a blog post — concurrent with a small press conference at its Palo Alto, California offices — Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg outlined the changes:

First, we’ve built one simple control to set who can see the content you post. In a couple of clicks, you can set the content you’ve posted to be open to everyone, friends of your friends or just your friends.

This control will also apply to settings in new products we launch going forward. So if you decide to share your content with friends only, then we will set future settings to friends only as well. This means you won’t have to worry about new settings in the future.

This single control makes it easier to set who can see all your content at once, but you can still use all of the same granular controls we’ve offered if you’d like.

Second, we’ve reduced the amount of basic information that must be visible to everyone and we are removing the connections privacy model. Now we’ll be giving you the ability to control who can see your friends and pages. These fields will no longer have to be public.

The controls for this basic information can be found at the top of the privacy page in Basic Directory Information. We recommend that you make these settings open to everyone. Otherwise, people you know may not be able to find you and that will make the site less useful for you.

Third, we’ve made it simple to control whether applications and websites can access any of your information. Many of you enjoy using applications or playing games, but for those of you who don’t we’ve added an easy way to turn off Platform completely. This will make sure that none of your information is shared with applications or websites.

If you simply want to turn off instant personalization, we’ve also made that easier. Already, partner sites can only see things you’ve made visible to everyone. But if you want to prevent them from even seeing that, you can now easily turn off instant personalization completely.

Finally and perhaps most importantly, I am pleased to say that with these changes the overhaul of Facebook’s privacy model is complete.

According to CNET, Facebook has reduced the number of settings — and pages — required to control personal information: “From 50 settings required to make all information private to less than 15; consolidated 10 settings on 3 pages to 7 pages on one page. Privacy center pages drop from 13 to 8.”

"We’re really going to try not to have another backlash," Zuckerberg said during a Q+A with reporters.

More to read:

Facebook: ‘Drastically Simplified’ Privacy Controls Coming Wednesday
Will Privacy Meltdown Hurt Facebook?

[Photo via CNET]