Facebook rolls out easier privacy controls

Facebook, after the privacy scandal, has today announced that it has simplified its control settings

The social networking site, which has received huge criticism about the complexity of its privacy controls, has now said it has streamlined the system to make it easier for users to protect their personal data online.

CEO Mark Zuckerberg unveiled the simplified method for controlling privacy at a press event last night where he admitted it had become too complicated but insisted his company was not trying to force people to share their data.

He outlined four basic settings, where a variety of different levels can be applied with a simple click of a button. These are expected to be rolled out to Facebook’s 450 million users over the next few weeks.

The controls will offer four basic settings: share data with everyone, with “friends of friends”, “friends only” or “recommended” – which shares certain information, such as family information, with everyone but photos and videos only with friends of friends.

However, he defended his company’s approach to privacy by suggesting that often, users actually want their data on show.

“People think that we don’t care about privacy, but that’s not true. There’s a balance. More and more people want to share information, and as long as they have good controls over that, I think that’s where the world is going.”

He also said that its policy of sharing data with advertisers was that it didn’t give out any information to them. Instead, he said, the company targets ads to users themselves after they are approached by advertisers specifying demographics.