Facebook confusing privacy settings

So Facebook has re-done  its just released privacy settings.  Aren’t you confused?  I am.  You are sent to a page which is compares apples and oranges.  One column are the settings that Facebook recommends and the other column is called “old settings.”  As if these settings are like the clunker permanently parked in your driveway.  They aren’t “old” settings.  They are your current privacy settings.  Plus, there is no way from this page to see what exactly your “old” settings are.  Only after you’ve decided your “new” settings does Facebook give you a link to your now outdated privacy settings.

And what has gotten less attention is that application developers have the same rights to your data as does a friend.  At least that’s my interpretation of the Facebook statement below:

“Facebook limits availability of user profile data beyond name and thumbnail picture to individuals in users’ networks and confirmed friends.  We give all users extensive control over who has access to their data through our powerful and granular privacy settings.

When a user confirms another user as a friend, Facebook Platform enables that permission to extend to other Facebook applications.  No application receives any data from Facebook unless and until a Facebook user expressly chooses to add it. All application developers must follow Facebook privacy rules on the retention and use of that information, including not caching data or using it beyond the end of a session.  We terminate application developers who do not abide by
Facebook privacy restrictions.

Facebook users at any time can block data access by any individual application, or all applications, through our privacy page. /UPDATE”

I went to the page which allows me to block individual applications where it says:

“Blocked Applications

You have blocked the following applications. This means they cannot access any information about you or contact you. They may still appear on your friends’ profiles. This option is available from the Requests page. If you want to remove the block for any of these applications, click remove.”

What does “they” mean?  That the application I blocked will still be associated with me on my friends page?  Doesn’t that mean that this information is still publicly available?

I think Facebook has more splainin to do.

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One Response to “Facebook confusing privacy settings”

  1. WSJ – Facebook sharing IDs with Apps « Reading Tea Leaves by Randy Wilson Says:

    […] like Farmville and other online games from sharing personal information.  Here is what I wrote […]

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