We’ve all been there. Facebook rolls out a new update and all of a sudden all of our settings have reverted to the default ones, the layout is even more confusing than before and your mini-feed is all aflutter with discontent from your friends. Frustrating? Absolutely.
We weren’t the only ones to take note, the Federal Trade Commission was also paying attention. Recently Facebook settled FTC charges that it deceived users “on numerous occasions” by expressly stating they could keep their personal information private and then sharing that information anyway. The settlement has called for some big changes.
NEXT for Women has reviewed the lengthy document and pulled out the good stuff. Here’s what you need to know…
BEFORE: When Facebook made changes to it’s privacy settings, it never gave prior notice. This meant, as a user, we often didn’t know anything had occurred until something we didn’t want to go public did. Then we got the distinct pleasure in rooting around in the new settings as we tried to restore our previous set up.
NOW: The FTC has mandated that from now on Facebook must obtain consent from their users before overriding their privacy settings OR sharing their information. Simply put, users now have to “opt-in” to changes instead of deciphering what is different and “opt-out”.
BEFORE: When a user closed their Facebook account, their private information remained on the servers for an indefinite amount of time and Facebook could do with it as it pleased.
NOW: Facebook must comply and respond to an individuals request to shut down their account within 30 days. This means that their private information must be deleted from the company’s servers as well.
NEW: Forefront in the settlement is that the social giant implement internal procedures to safeguard users privacy. To make sure Facebook keeps their promise, they are to submit to private audits by the FTC for the next 20 years.
While it’s not perfect, and leaves a lot to be desired, it is a step in the right direction.
Even though Facebook has been caught sharing your information, is that enough to deter you from using the site? Or does the benefit to you socially outweigh the cost and danger? Comment below and let us know.
Addie found her passion for technology and all things “geek” at an early age. She’d often take apart small appliances (to her mother’s dismay) to discover how they worked. By age twelve, she was a household “MacGuyver”, re-wiring her parent’s weed-eater (among other things) with two paper clips and some electrical tape – and yes – it worked! Addie would later fall in love with digital communication and internet-based technology, and become voracious for information on everything from network security to search engine optimization. Her articles featured on NEXT for Women include tech: tips, random facts, and other useful tidbits. Have a question for Addie? If she doesn’t know the answer she will find out the answer for you -simply leave a comment below.