More NewsFacebook Privacy Exec: Changes in Two Weeks

Facebook Privacy Exec: Changes in Two Weeks

While the social site promises to make privacy modules easier to use, important questions remain about default settings being opt-in vs. opt-out.

Facebook head of public policy Tim Sparapani told WAMU Radio last night that the social site will be making changes to its privacy settings soon, suggesting a time frame of two weeks.

“I think we’re going to be providing options for people who want simplistic bands of privacy that they can choose from,” he said while being interviewed by the American University-owned station. “And I think we’ll see that in the next couple of weeks.”

No other significant details were revealed by Sparapani. Therefore, important questions remain.

For instance, will “Instant Personalization” and other defaults be changed from opt-out to opt-in? Or will Facebook address the concerns of those who are upset about their information being made public by simply tweaking an arduous settings system and making it a bit less difficult to use?

It probably wasn’t an accident that Facebook chose to disclose the information via a media outlet in Washington, D.C. The Palo Alto, CA-based social site has come under major scrutiny from a group of U.S. Senators since announcing its so-called open graph strategy on April 21.

The Wall Street Journal today reported that Facebook is engaged in an internal debate on how to address the privacy brouhaha. It now appears clear that those discussions have led to plans that – at the very least – will make the privacy settings simpler to modify.

Meanwhile, Sparapani sounded defiant during the radio interview about the criticisms his company has endured in the last few weeks. The social site, he said, has “built a privacy setting for every type of new communication and sharing that we have… Facebook should be getting credit here for giving tools in the first place.”

Follow Christopher Heine on Twitter at @ChrisClickZ.

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