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Facebook’s decision to change its privacy settings this week has been met with anger from some users who are concerned that their personal data could be at risk due to the alterations made to the social networking site.

The privacy settings have been simplified as part of the changes, however some argue that vital controls which protects personal data from being picked up by third party organisations has been lost putting 350 million users worldwide in a vulnerable position.

The main cause of the changes to privacy settings is to enable Facebook to continue to complete with rival social network site Twitter. Facebook has taken the step of making all status updates public by default to encourage the use of updates for publicity, in the same way people use their Twitter blogs to advertise information.

Another issue which is worrying Facebook users is that personal information such as profile pictures, networks, current city and friend’s lists and other basics info is classed as “publically available information”. However Facebook has defended itself as they say that the “overwhelming majority” of users make this information public by their own admission so most people won’t notice a difference.

Facebook say that the simplifying of the privacy settings does seem to be working as 24 hours after the alterations were made some 20 million users had used the new system to modify their information.


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