When users had the chance to ask questions of a Facebook executive about privacy practices, one was "Why can't you just leave well enough alone?" They're tired of constant tweaks to privacy controls. Many have also indicated they prefer simple controls for privacy across the entire site as opposed to separate controls for different elements of the site.
Facebook should have learned its lesson on protecting user privacy after the public outcry when it launched the Beacon targeted advertising program, or perhaps after the U.S. Federal Trade Commission and other stakeholders began contemplating online privacy regulations. Yet Facebook continues to hear from U.S. and European regulators, privacy advocates, and an increasingly unhappy user base regarding its lack of concern for user privacy.
But all hope is not lost. The company did just announce it's planning a simpler set of privacy controls. If Facebook can also grasp that users and regulators want more than lip service and unhappy users will go elsewhere, the company's headaches might begin to fade.
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