After Facebook's privacy revamp on Dec. 9, my most recent login left me feeling more confused than secure. For those who felt the same about Facebook's new privacy transition tool, check out this great resource the ACLU's Demand Your dotRights campaign put together to make the privacy transition more smooth for users.
Overall, the ACLU is pleased to see Facebook put privacy front and center, and hopes other companies will follow suit, but we do still have concerns about their new system.
There's more "publicly available information" that you can't control: Before the recent changes, you had the option of exposing only a "limited" profile, consisting of as little as your name and networks, to other Facebook users -- and nothing at all to Internet users at large. Now your profile picture, current city, friends list, gender, and fan pages are "publicly available information," which means you have no way to prevent any other Facebook user from viewing this information on your profile, and you can only prevent Internet users from viewing this information by disabling search entirely (which you can't do through the Transition Tool).
Facebook is "recommending" that you loosen your privacy settings: For most users, including those who have never changed their Facebook privacy settings, the recommended settings make information less protected and more widely available than the previous default settings. For example, as of last Friday, sensitive information like relationship status and gender preference was available only to your friends by default; now Facebook encourages users to make this information available to "everyone!"
The "Transition Tool" does not allow most users to strengthen privacy settings: Facebook's Transition Tool gives you only two choices: keep your current settings or switch to Facebook's recommendations. And since Facebook's recommendations are less private than the previous default settings, most users have to click through to another page of privacy controls in order to strengthen their settings.
Learn more about Demand Your dotRights.
Tell Facebook to keep moving in the right direction by fixing its app gap and giving you better control over your personal information.