Thursday, December 10, 2009

Facebook change user's privacy settings without permission

When a user first logs into Facebook following the changes to the privacy settings on December 9th, they are greeted with a prompt asking if they wish to share more private information or leave the privacy settings 'unchanged'. I selected to leave my privacy settings 'unchanged' because I had worked hard to lock down my profile to only me and my direct friends ever since my account was badly compromised by a hacker. I have found that despite me opting to leave my privacy settings 'unchanged', Facebook have allowed unregistered users to view my entire friend list. I have looked through the entire account settings section to make this information private once again, but it appears Facebook will not allow this information to be hidden. I have not contacted Facebook about this because I know of the futility of such an exercise. Facebook are extremely poor at communicating with members via email even in urgent circumstances where an unscrupulous individual continually attempts to extort money from the member's friends through gross misrepresentation.

I think Facebook's actions are once again despicable and disgraceful. Members should have the right to hide their friend list from the non-members. It is quite clear that Facebook deem it appropriate to alter a member's privacy settings without explicit permission. I am saying now that Facebook are wrong to do this. You do not have the right Facebook, stop!

Please also see this:
Peter Heylin, BSc (Hons.), H.Dip, MSc

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