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Facebook Privacy: 6 Years of Controversy

CFacebook's privacy missteps f FEB'04 Facebook, then called, Facebook's new Places app is just the latest in a long history of privacy snafus launches from a Harvard dorm room. Places allows Facebook users to broadcast A BUT EVEN BEFORE FACEBOOK .. Mark Zuckerberg had to shut down an earlier site after facing Harvard sanctions for hacking into school directories and posting students' their location to their friends or, if they choose, the entire web. Places also permits users to check-in their friends at locations, similar to how the social network lets photos without their consent. friends tag other friends in pictures. At 1 million users DEC'04 Like previous Facebook developments, Places has raised privacy issues. Here is a short history of the controversies and missteps that have tarnished the social network's otherwise meteoric success. f SEPT'05 Already open to most college students, Facebook starts high school networks. AL 5.5 million users DEC'OS E SEPT'06 The News Feed, an aggregator of friends' status updates, is created and quickly becomes a centerpiece of the network. Later in the month, Facebook starts letting anyone join. A There was a huge backlash from users who called the site "Stalkerbook" and protested that it was creepy to constantly see what their friends were doing. College users were also upset about allowing anyone to join, fearing it would 12 million users DEC '06 become less secure. At 20 million users APRIL 07 E NOV'07 Facebook launches the Beacon advertising platform, which automatically updated users' profiles with their purchases and advertisers' information. A Facebook responded to outrage by allowing users to opt out of Beacon. The whole project was eventually killed a few years and lawsuits later, but many of the features were adapted for future applications. E MARCH'08 After rolling out specialized friends lists a few months earlier, Facebook revamps the privacy controls and adds the "Friends of Friends" designation. At 100 million users AUG 'os E FEB'09 In addition to launching the "Like" button, Facebook changes its Terms of Service in a way that appeared to give Facebook ownership E In response the the outcry, Facebook announced that users would be allowed to "review, comment and vote on" of users' content. a new set of Facebook Principles and other policies. At 250 million users JULY 09 A AUG '09 Facebook announced updated privacy policies based on Canadian government recommendations. A year earlier the government had complained that the site did not do enough to protect users from other users posting about them. AL 400 million users FEB'10 E MAY'10 Glitches allow some users to see their friends' private information, like chat conversations, and advertisers to L Many users grew disillusioned with the social network's privacy policy and PC World drafts a "Bill of Rights" for Facebookers. After the criticism, the network revamped its default privacy settings so more information is set automatically private until users choose to share more. learn some users' identities. E AUGʻ10 Facebook introduces Places, immediately raising privacy concerns about revealing where users are located. Sources: and news reports Text by Alexander Hotz and Lisa Waananen HOW WILL USERS RESPOND? Anticipating reactions from users, Facebook is emphasizing the corresponding "simple and powerful" privacy controls for Places. Graphic by LISAWAANANEN for

Facebook Privacy: 6 Years of Controversy

shared by rmmojado on Dec 28
The release of Facebook Places raised serious privacy concerns for users of the social network. Places allows users to alert their friends to where they are by checking-in to a nearby location, often ...




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