FTC Makes Facebook Devise New Privacy Policies

The most used social website, Facebook, may no longer be able to change it’s privacy settings without users’ approval.¬†Reports indicate that this is a likely outcome of a FTC probe against Facebook. The 2-year old probe is about to end and Facebook may have to come to FTC’s terms.

According to recent reports, Facebook may no longer be able to play at will with it’s privacy settings in the future. As a result of a FTC probe against Facebook, it may have to seek the consent of it’s users before making any changes that reveals their personal information. This is happening as a two-year old FTC probe against the social website culminates.

Opting in or Opting out:
Most of the privacy settings that have been introduced by Facebook in the past followed the ‘opt out’ model. The website applied the changes en masse and then those who didn’t like them would opt out. But the problem, as many analysts have stated, is that if certain changes reveal profile information, it will take a user some time to change undo those changes. That can compromise the privacy of the users. So FTC has been pushing Facebook to rather adapt the ‘Opt in’ model. In this model, the website will have to seek the user’s consent before revealing his or her information. Only those who choose to accept the changes will be able to use it.

More control over personal data:
Facebook is of the opinion that through it’s recent changes, a user has more control over his or her data. “I think we are going to need to keep on making it easier and easier but that’s our mission, right?” Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook CEO said in a recent interview.

Despite Zuckerberg’s claims, the critics have continued to slam Facebook for compromising personal data. If FTC is able to break a deal with Facebook, the users will have a choice to opt for any new set of changes or to reject it.

Image Courtesy Neeraj Kumar and Alan Cleaver.


Salman Latif is a software engineer with a specific interest in social media, big data and real-world solutions using the two.Other than that, he is a bit of a gypsy. He also writes in his own blog. You can find him on Google+ and Twitter .

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