The announcement made last week of site changes by Facebook, which included a new privacy setting, a new Timeline feature and a revamped news feed have renewed a few concerns.
These features certainly make it easier for its 800 million users to share more information about themselves and their lives online.
Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg said that the new features would be creating frictionless sharing. However, privacy watchdogs are already urging the Federal Trade Commission to look into the new features that they say are pushing users to share more than what they may feel comfortable in sharing.
The new feature adds a timeline that charts in chronological order all the information users have shared in the past. This is a useful feature. However, if a user doesn't change the default settings to restrict who can see the wall, this information will be available to anyone.
This is not the first time that such criticisms have come up against Facebook. The content of user pages has been criticized for promoting controversial topics. Issues of censorship have also come up.
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Earlier, there have been some concerns expressed regarding the use of Facebook as a means of surveillance and data mining. Identify theft has been a major concern. It is easy for an individual to create an account and impersonate another person, often for mischievous reasons and also for pestering others. There have been instances when Facebook has received criticism from people outside the Facebook community and also users about hosting pro-anorexia and pro-bulimia information.
Facebook has always maintained the stand that it gives users the ability to control the privacy of their personal information.
In the midst of all these, the new features have been creating further privacy concerns to which it is expected to find new solutions.