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Private once again

With millions threatening to quit, Facebook replaces privacy settings.

tech reviews Updated: May 31, 2010 14:14 IST
Navdeep Kaur Marwah
Navdeep Kaur Marwah
Hindustan Times

World’s most famous social networking site, Facebook’s ‘defeat’ at the hands of groups and users protesting against its loose privacy policies, has met with a mixed reaction. Under severe pressure from groups threatening to quit the site en masse, Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced on Wednesday that the privacy controls would be revisited. This would make it easier for the site’s 400 million users, of which 4.5 million are Indian, to understand how much of their personal information is publicly accessible on the web.

While some heaved a sigh of relief, others aren’t ready to declare a truce. Says Ankit Fadia, cyber security expert, “Many people were planning to quit Facebook. Now, I guess they’ll change their mind. Whether we like it or not, we can’t deny that Facebook has become an integral part of our lives. It’s not easy to quit.”

Emcee Ramneek Pantal, an avid Facebook user, says, “If now my profile will be private by default, then it is great. This announcement is a big relief.” Fashion designer Mandira Wirk too echoes, “The whole privacy issue was getting me irritated. Who wants strangers lurking around on your page?” “It is a welcome step and hopefully will make FB a secure place”, says model Krishna Somani.

Socialite Riddhima Kapoor Sahni cautions, “It’s nice but too early to say anything about the success of such a step.” Activist groups campaigning for the cause, however, seem unimpressed as of now. For them, the simplified options announced, which included slicing the number of settings from 50 to around 15 and consolidating seven pages of choices into three pages, are not enough. Jeff Chester of the Center for Digital Democracy wrote, “Facebook changes don’t go far enough. I want ‘opt-in’ instead of ‘opt-out’.”

First Published: May 31, 2010 13:30 IST