Facebook Users Gripe about Erosion of Privacy

Facebook users are very sensitive about online privacy and this is apparent from a newly released survey by IT security c

ompany, Sophos.

The findings of the survey show that users all across the globe are not happy with the changes Facebook is planning to make to its privacy policy.

Controversial Changes

The majority of Facebook users (95 percent) think that the privacy changes are "a bad thing," as per the survey conducted on about 680 readers at Sophos's website and Facebook page.

There is a very small percentage (3 percent) of users that are not very clear about the changes proposed by Facebook and about two per cent of the respondents agreed to support the change.

This survey was taken after Facebook proposed a number of changes to its privacy policy in March 2010. The changes will allow "pre-approved" third-party websites to access personal information of users who became a Facebook member thinking their details will not be shared by this social networking site. (See also "Facebook's Sneaky Apps and Privacy Issues.")

Access to Personal Information

According to Sophos, users visiting a third party website after being logged into Facebook are giving away their personal information to that website including their profile picture, their friends and connections and even their user ID.

This sharing of information is not welcomed by the majority of users but Facebook says only very few pre-approved sites will be offered this feature. Moreover, the users will retain the right to disable the feature if they feel uncomfortable.

"The results of this poll send out a very clear message to Facebook--its users aren't happy. Most Facebook users still don't know how to set their Facebook privacy options safely, finding the whole system confusing and long-winded," said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos. "The onus should not be on Facebook users to 'opt out' of this new feature but to 'opt in'--making a conscious choice to engage, rather than having to make a conscious decision to decline."

This story, "Facebook Users Gripe about Erosion of Privacy" was originally published by MIS Asia.

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