Facebook to Introduce Simplified Privacy Settings Tomorrow

Facebook will begin the rollout of simpler user privacy controls starting tomorrow, according to the company’s VP of products, Chris Cox. The social network has received widespread criticism from users, regulators, and the media over the complexity of its privacy settings and the obligatory sharing of certain profile data.

Speaking at Techcrunch’s Disrupt conference in NYC this morning, Cox said, “It’s been an intense week, and a humbling couple of weeks for us. We’ve been spending time speaking with advocacy groups and users to understand what people are looking for. The plan is to announce and begin rolling out a drastically simpler version of our privacy controls starting tomorrow.

In response to a question from the audience asking if those in the technology and media spaces have overblown the situation, Cox said he didn’t believe so, stating, “I think it’s an issue. There’s been a massive amount of feedback over the last five years, and a huge part of what we’re focused on is making this stuff really easy. A lot people really care.”

Cox said he expects further details to be announced by Facebook tomorrow, but that it didn’t want to make an announcement until it had changes to its product ready.

The social network has faced criticism from privacy advocates and consumers for years. Recently however, it has attracted formal attention from regulators in both the U.S. and Europe, with U.S. Senators and European data protection bodies expressing their concerns.

In the wake of privacy concerns surrounding Facebook, rival social network MySpace announced recently that it too will be introducing simplified blanket privacy options “in the next few weeks.”

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