Page last updated at 10:41 GMT, Thursday, 27 May 2010 11:41 UK

Facebook privacy: Your comments

Social network Facebook has said it will offer a one-stop shop for privacy settings in response to user concerns. Facebook users around the world have been emailing the BBC to give their reaction to the story.


Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg
Mark Zuckerberg said the changes were necessary

I use Facebook and constantly check and update my privacy settings to ensure zero voyeurism into my account. These new privacy settings make me feel much safer. I do not use any of the applications sent by friends or family. Users need to be smarter and more alert when using social networking sites like these. Most of the time I notice addresses and phone numbers being revealed on wall posts - how dangerous is this? Just be smart and Facebook and the other sites available will be fun and interesting to use.
Claire, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

I have already changed the setting to stop people from being able to write on my wall. If people want to send me messages, they can send me a private message or an e-mail. I liked Facebook at the beginning, but I think it has gone too far. Messages you write on people's walls come up on newsfeeds - and who really cares what I'm writing on others' walls and vice versa? And now people can tag you in photos without you accepting these photos before they go on a newsfeed or on the "Photos of You" section. I'm not happy with Facebook but the strange thing is, I don't think I will cancel my account just yet. As much as I moan about it, I think I would feel a bit isolated and out of the loop. I am working on reducing the amount of my Facebook friends though, so that only the people who I really want to access information about me will be able to do so.
Kirsty, Madrid, Spain

I have recently joined Facebook, but I am finding it very difficult to comprehend. These things are supposedly to enjoy and shouldn't require City and Guilds qualifications! I am reverting back to normal emailing. Plus I and family members have received viruses, virtually straight away.
Rolly, Hungary

Facebook has really made a difference in my life and how I am connected with people far away.
Anna S, Oulu, Finland

You state that: "Mr Zuckerberg told BBC News that it was a 'misconception' that the site relied on people sharing information to make money from adverts." I challenge Mr Zuckerberg to tell me, hand on heart, that the adverts I see on Facebook are coincidentally aligned with topics I have read about or discussed on Facebook. Is this really pure coincidence? I have applied maximum privacy settings and do not allow applications access to my information. How come I see adverts that are clearly directed at my age, my interests and my location?
Peter Fitzpatrick, Dublin, Ireland

I do not understand much about this fuss but I do want full control of all the things I show to other people. I have no interest whatsoever in making my doings available to the friends of my friends. And it would also be nice to have the possibility of choosing who individually sees what. For example, information and comments I make about football should go to my football teammates and not necessarily to my shopping girlfriends. There is still a long way to go to make Facebook a good social environment. But I am not going to give it up. It has really made a difference in my life and how I am connected with people far away.
Anna S, Oulu, Finland

It's good to know one thing... one thing that isn't self evident. Facebook has policies and settings - but the people or companies that make the apps do not. Once you agree to an app's terms and conditions, they have full access to all your data. All your data. I do a lot on Facebook - I am an author with three books in print, have 4,500 friends and a fan page - I don't mind my life being public. But I would advise everyone to avoid all apps. They are made to be fun, enticing and targeted to specific populations, so they rope you in with cute farm animals, hearts and flowers, religious themes and even vampires and mafia wars, if you like that kind of thing. What they do with your information is uncontrolled. Facebook gives them access to ask for participants and if you are naive enough to join them, you are at their mercy. Most people don't know this and send app invites to everyone they know, thinking they are just having fun. Just say no to apps - that's my motto.
Patrick Mahoney, Atlanta, USA

I feel as a networking site Facebook needs to be simpler and secure. "Staying connected" should not be at the cost of disclosed privacy.
Sandeep, Patna, Bihar, India

I'm an American Facebook user and a new high school teacher. When I was in college, I joined Facebook as a way to socialize with friends in different places around the country. I've almost always kept my Facebook profile set to private and hidden, so no one could find me unless I friended them. Now that I'm a teacher, with students on Facebook, this became particularly important to me. I don't want my students to find my profile at all, let alone see information about me. It's really infuriating to me that Facebook has forced me to make my profile picture public. I'm one of the many considering cancelling my Facebook account if things don't go back to giving users more control.
Rachel, Wayne, USA

As an information security manager, I tend to be wary of websites that have poor reputations concerning patron privacy. Over the last year, I have watched Facebook take on some increasingly shady practices which I think abuses the trust of its users. I consider Facebook a rendering plant for personal privacy and will be happy when its finally gone.
Eric, Portland, Oregon, USA

I believe this a good idea from the Facebook developers and we are eagerly waiting to see how the new look of the profile will be as far as the privacy settings are concerned.
Muchiri Daniel, Kianyaga, Kenya


As somebody who is studying security at PhD level, I can say with good certainty that there are a lot of people out there who actually want more control over their privacy. This actually looks like less control. I still can't set my profile picture to be private to my friends, for example. Technically this is easy to do and I bet is just as worthwhile as setting a privacy setting on a photo album. They assume I want people to find me and this is true, but my friends can find me via other friends and I don't need to whole world to see my dodgy profile picture!
Tony, Lancaster

According to your article, "Facebook has also reduced the amount of information that is visible to everyone." So that's why my newsfeed has been really slow and boring over the last few days. I was happy with it the way it was, thanks. Make the privacy settings easier by all means, but don't take the life out of it.
Artypie, Leicester

As a recent addition to Facebook, I have found the privacy controls fairly straightforward. The defaults were too public for my personal preference, but it only took a couple of minutes to reset them all to restrict the information given out to non-friends. With these changes, I will have to check the settings again, but as long as there is a reasonable level of control, and those controls work as expected, I do not see any major issues.
Jonathan, Southampton

I always wonder why people who are so paranoid about having their information given away put it up on the internet in the first place. I wanted to hide certain photos of myself when I was looking for a job and found it very easy to do. I don't understand the fear of people seeing who your friends are? What possible bad effect could it have unless you're close personal friends with Osama Bin-Laden or Tony Blair!
Joe, London

I don't wish to be "invaded" by friends of my friend whom I do not know. Sometimes I believe that this is an invasion of privacy.
David Morford, Portsmouth

It really is about time that Facebook and others started to set defaults at the highest level of privacy and not the lowest. If I want something I will opt in. I should not have to opt out of the world and his wife having access to my stuff.
Alex Beech

I don't wish to be "invaded" by friends of my friend whom I do not know
David Morford, Portsmouth

The privacy settings should be set at a default maximum level so that, in particular, the growing number of child users are not exposed to any further risk than they already are by being allowed access to such sites. Anybody over 16 then wishing to relax their access levels can do so at their own risk, while those under 18 should not be allowed to do so.
Julie Parr, Staffordshire

I have never understood the problem with the FB privacy settings. You set everything to "Friends only" and then every time FB adds something new it defaults to maximum privacy.
Robin, Milton Keynes

Facebook needs to make it explicitly clear how to make your profile as private as you like. They haven't made it clear enough over the years as to how the policies change, meaning that what you thought was private before is no longer private unless you go out of your way to change it yourself.
Arthur Nicholson, Edinburgh

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