So the big news conference has been the highlight of all the big tech sites over the last day or so and it seems a mixed bag of responses. Some are praising Facebook’s new found awareness of how important privacy is to its users while others still believe that they just do not get it.
I am part of the later group and I will tell you why I think that.
It is all about Opting In vice Opting Out.
Facebook wants you to Opt Out of their default privacy settings that allows parts of your information to be shared. This seems to be Facebook’s policy standard even with changes to the Privacy Setting process.
I have to give them some credit for simplifying the privacy settings. Giving users a one button choice on who to share their info with will help the everyday user. There is also advanced controls available for those who like a much finer control over their privacy settings. All of this is great steps compared to how they just marched into things late last year with changes relating to privacy and who can have access to your info.
Personally I would prefer to see companies, not just Facebook, have Opt In as the only choice when it comes to user information. E-mail me, put a banner on your site when I come to visit after you have added some new sharing options, do something to let me know you have new options. Then let me go to your site and choose to share my info instead of me having to go to your site and tell you that I would prefer not to share my information on a new feature that you added after my initial sign up.
Seems only fair to me. If you trust your users and explain why your asking them to share info and how that makes things works then they will probably Opt In. However, if you just make the choice for them then they will more than likely not understand. That in turn will alienate them.
Not exactly the relationship you want to have with the people who make your service work is it?