back to article 1 in 3 users reviewed Facebook privacy roll-back

One in three Facebook users changed their privacy settings in Facebook after the social networking site applied a controversial privacy roll-back and encouraged users to review how much they shared online back in December. Facebook Director of Public Policy Tim Sparapani said that 35 per cent of Facebook users actually …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    "35 per cent of 350 million users is an extraordinary number"

    and 65 per cent of 350 million users is an even larger extraordinary number

  2. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

    I don't quite understand, but

    I'd make a distinction between "reviewing" privacy settings on my account (if I had one) and changing the settings. Those seem to be conflated.

    If I was running the service, I'd consider one in three users actually looking at the new settings as a failure, unless I'd separately explained what had changed in such a way that users could reasonably choose to presume that whatever I was doing was all right with them.

    (Maybe that's what most non-technical users do think. But there are considerations such as providing information on Facebook that can be used for identity theft crimes.)

    On the other hand, if one in three users feel that I've given them the wrong security settings by default, I think that's quite a high rate.

    I'll give myself a pat on the back if I allow them to review the new privacy settings when they are not in effect yet, and to make a decision in advance, and in that case I also won't worry that so many make a non-default choice.

  3. deadlockvictim Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    Airport Security

    They have nothing to fear, so they have nothing to hide.

    Good luck with airport security in 10 years' time after all of your self-reported misdemeanours (and the Google AdWord assessment of you) have made onto your permanent GoogleReport.

  4. Colin Mountford

    Deliberately confusing

    I logged into my facebook account for the first time in 4 months to check up on an old friend and faced this privacy "review". It took me 1 minute to work out exactly what was going on.

    It gave me 2 options for each type of information:-

    1) Do you want to share "x" with everyone?

    2) Do you want to maintain current settings for "x"?

    Why didn't it say explicitly what the current settings were (until you "hovered over the selection)?

    If my old settings were "share with everyone" why did it not give me the option to roll back?

    Seems to me it was a confidence trick to try and get users to open up their settings even more.

    Fortunately, from the start I had the foresight to input inaccurate data, at a stroke reducing my age by several years, giving me the 29-Feb birthday I had always wished for and moving my residence to the far more interesting Afghanistan.

  5. Mark Flingstone

    I did it

    Received the email, and, although I registered with fake* name, surname, birth date, no photos and nothing else, I promptly denied any access to all useful (grin) info I published.

    FWIW, in Italian, FACEBOOK may also be prononunced FESSBOOK (slang on FESSO - dummy).

    (*) why did I register? needed to know how many freetards among my colleagues/friends registered

  6. D@v3

    Almost 35 per cent of our users actually customized their settings

    doesn't mean the other 65% are now sharing all their info with world+dog. There are some, who didn't "customise" their settings, because they were already as secure as they wanted to be.

    All this means is that 35% discovered they were not at the level of security they wanted to be, and changed it. The remaining 65% were either happy with their settings, didn't care enough to change their settings, or haven't logged back in since the changes were made.

  7. Anonymous Coward


    "Almost 35 per cent of our users actually customized their settings..."

    35 % of users reviewed their settings, noticed the security had been removed and changed it back whilst the other 65% didnt notice and just clicked through....

    "higher than the industry average of "between 5-10 percent"

    Whilst they were expecting (hoping?) 90-95% of users wouldnt actually review their security settings and notice they had been lowered from what they set up when they opened the account.

    and thats a success.....

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    But I'm confused ...

    I thought that not worrying about privacy was the new "social norm". So are this 35 percent not socially normal in the post privacy Golden Age? Or is that the 65 percent who didn't take "control of their data". Or were the majority just not savvy enough to read between the lines of the Facebook notice and see the hidden "we're screwing you".

  9. TRT Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    Facebook stinks

    So I wanted to permanently delete anything Facebook has from me, and I can't. I can "delete" my account, but all this does is hide stuff; it is still there, lurking in the dark recesses of the interweb.

    Facebook's attitude to user control stinks big time, so what exactly have these 35% of users actually achieved?

    1. Alkatr0z

      Account Deletion

  10. NightFox

    Taking the Credit

    Sparapani said the engagement rate is much higher than the industry average of "between 5-10 percent".

    Yes, but how much of that wonderful 35% was down to Facebook's direct communication with its users, and how much was down to all the negative media coverage?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Good question.

      I just remember being pissed that they messed with the settings I had carefully considered less than 3 months previously when I setup my account and my sock puppets. I think I hadn't seen the negative publicity before hand, but wouldn't swear to it.

  11. Joe 3

    The change was very useful

    I am now able to stalk profiles which were previously set to 'private'...

  12. markp 1

    lies and damned statistics

    What the new system seems to have done is radically lowered the privacy bar for anyone who doesn't go change their settings. I'm being deluged by updates about comments made on profiles belonging to people I DON'T EVEN KNOW simply because they know one of my actual FB friends. And I doubt they realise it's happening; I was probably bombarding them as well until I tried to figure out why it was happening, ended up in the privacy settings, and discovered that - even though I had gone to the page when it first prompted me to do so - pretty much everything was on a "wiiiiiiide open" or "uncomfortably open" setting. Getting it back to the level it was sort-of at this time last year, which I was comfortable with, involved changing a lot of stuff to much stricter levels.

    I love how they're trying to push it as them making things more secure and more respectful of private data when it's actually mass PD-sharing by the back door.

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