Facebook Privacy Settings

Posted on May 13, 2011 in Blog, Featured, Privacy / Reputation, Social networking | 0 comments

I’m working through Facebook’s Privacy settings this morning as part of a new design and engineering project. Johnny Lang in the background singing “Good Morning Schoolgirl” seems very apropos.

Have you taken the time to look through your Facebook settings lately? While I expected most of what I saw, what really struck me as weird were the permissions that may be allowed for friends-of-friends, and for the apps that friends install. Like many others, I personally know all of my Facebook friends. Like most others who use Facebook, I have friended some who are only brief acquaintances. Even of those friends that I know well, I don’t have a lot of trust in their ability to identify online scams and data harvestors. And given what little trust I have for my friends in that area, none of it transfers to friends-of-friends or the apps my friends use.

Why would anyone give friend-of-friend access to their detailed profile and social network information? Why would Facebook, by default, allow friends-of-friends to view my birthday, wall posts (and my friends’ wall posts), political and religious views,  and photos? Why should the apps that my friends install have access to my profile by default?

If you don’t already have a good understanding of Facebook privacy settings, I suggest that you read this [updated 1/14/2016]. If you also want to see all the permissions that Facebook apps may request, check out this.