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Facebook plans to tighten privacy

Facebook plans to tighten privacy

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Facebook plans to make changes soon to its privacy tools to provide simpler options for the site’s more than 400 million active users to control information they post, a company official said Friday. The world’s largest social network acknowledged getting a “pretty clear” message from users that they wanted easier controls.

Facebook officials have held a number of meetings on Capitol Hill after Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and other lawmakers raised concerns about Facebook’s privacy policies. Both sides said the meetings have been productive.

Facebook has indicated for the past week that the company has heard concerns, gathered all sorts of feedback, and was going to address it.

In Facebook’s most detailed statement yet about the planned changes, Andrew Noyes, manager of public policy communications, said: “We’ve spent the last couple of weeks listening to users and consulting with experts in California, Washington, D.C., and around the world. We know Facebook is well-known for its innovations around sharing and we want to be equally known for innovations around user control.

“The messages we’ve received are pretty clear. Users appreciate having precise and comprehensive controls, but want them to be simpler and easier to use. They also like the new programs we have rolled out, but want simple and easy ways to opt out of sharing personal information with applications and websites through Facebook Platform. We’re listening to this input and incorporating it into innovations we hope to announce shortly.”

In a letter last month to Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg, four Democratic U.S. senators — Schumer, Michael Bennet (Col.), Mark Begich (Alaska) and Al Franken (Minn.) — said: “[T]he expansion of Facebook – both in the number of users and applications – raises new concerns for users who want to maintain control over their information. … We look forward to the FTC examining this issue, but in the meantime we believe Facebook can take swift and productive steps to alleviate the concerns of its users.”

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