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Facebook to bolt stable door… maybe

It’s good to see that Facebook staff are apparently sitting down today to finally get to grips with privacy issues.  Everyone’s privacy should be taken seriously, but when millions of teenagers and children are involved, security becomes absolutely essential.

I blogged here about the Facebook’s baffling refusal to include the CEOPS panic button, despite the request from all UK police forces.  That attitude, the software flaw that allowed access to contact details (since fixed) and now the giving to third party websites of permission to post users’ views without their specific consent, all betray a complete failure of the security responsibilities of Facebook to keep up with its data-sharing culture.

The BBC cite a report this week revealing that Facebook has 50 different privacy settings and 170 options.  Few adults would understand the implications of all these combinations; it is even less likely that young people would spend an hour or more fine tuning their settings when they could be busy chatting away.

Facebook provides a great forum for networking to millions of people.  Let’s hope that this meeting marks the start of a more responsible culture, with Facebook thinking about its users more as individuals whose privacy must be protected, and less as sources of data to trade.

A good start would be to put up the CEOPS panic button to protect children and teenagers – but I for one won’t be holding my breath…

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