by C.G. Lynch

In the New Facebook, Privacy Is King

Sep 15, 20082 mins
Enterprise Applications

The redesign of Facebook, which became permanent last week, has received some harsh reviews from the social network’s users. But according to reports, one of the main objectives of the “new Facebook” was to improve users’ privacy and security settings. Because the social network did this very well, people will remain loyal to the service over time.

In our slideshow on how to set Facebook’s privacy settings, we discussed the granularity with which you can manipulate aspects of your profile your friends, networks and people searching for you on the Web can find for your Facebook identity.

This issue will increase in importance as a person’s consumer technology consistently collides with their work life. Facebook has been at the forefront of this phenomenon.

On one hand, users must design their profile on the service so it’s palatable for friends, family and colleagues. Certain pictures, comments, and notes about your relationships might not be something you want to share with certain people within those categories.

There’s good reason to worry about what information people can access about you. Just a few days ago, we learned from a survey that one in five companies (31,000 were asked) look at social networking profiles when screening candidates.    

The issue of privacy also ties into Facebook’s business model: they want to make advertisements inherently social rather than rely on the text-based ads of the Google era. In other words, if I buy a fleece from a store that advertises on Facebook, and you were my friend on Facebook, you might see that I purchased the item.

But they need to do it fairly. Facebook made their first go of it with the Beacon advertising program, but didn’t give users the kind of opt-out option they desired. Now, with the new privacy settings, users can decide for themselves.

At CIO, we’re very curious to know how people manage the privacy issue. Have you utilized the new privacy settings? And if so, have they allowed you to control access with the specificity that you wish?

Comment below or send me an e-mail.