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November 06, 2012

Facebook Educates New Users about Privacy Settings

By Brittany Walters-Bearden, TMCnet Contributor

Privacy has always been a point of contention for Facebook, and every interview with Mark Zuckerberg (News - Alert) inevitably leads back to big questions concerning privacy. Although Facebook doesn’t really need to explain itself, with over one billion users, many of whom consider it an integral part of their daily lives, Facebook (News - Alert) has been making efforts to clear the air about privacy. 

Despite the controversy surrounding Facebook and privacy, the company told The Washington Post that they are “committed” to ensuring that users understand exactly “how to control what they share and with whom.” Starting Friday, new users will be given the information that they need from the very outset.

Image via Shutterstock

For anyone who hasn’t already signed up for Facebook, the privacy policies will be made clear at the time of registration. New users will be given information about the ins and outs of privacy and sharing as it relates to advertisements, photo tags, apps and games, data access policies, sharing permissions, and, perhaps the most important of all: what the default settings entail.

This new update is, in part, a response to the Irish Data Protection Commissioner’s Office. In a November 2nd blog post, Facebook explained, “We’ve implemented these enhancements as part of our broader effort to integrate more privacy education into the new user experience. We appreciate the guidance on this effort that we’ve received from the Irish Data Protection Commissioner’s Office, the regulatory oversight agency for our services outside of the United States and Canada.”

With the many changes that Facebook has undergone in recent years and as more third parties have started offering apps and the ability to link and update Facebook, existing users would benefit from a refresher course. For current users who have questions, the Help Center and educational pages regarding privacy are always available. As always, common sense goes a long way, even if over sharing has become the standard.

Edited by Brooke Neuman
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