More Facebook Privacy Shenanigans

Mikey 3 comments
More Facebook Privacy Shenanigans

Just continuing from this story, I bravely decided to venture beyond the confusing nightmare that is the new Facebook privacy settings prompt.

I kept everything on 'old settings' with the intention of tweaking once inside. Things are explained a little better there, but I've come to the conclusion that Facebook are either letting programmers make UI decisions, or they have a UI guy who smokes crack at the beginning of every work day. Oh wait, they don't have a UI guy...

This screen shot shows the options available to me for changing my mobile number privacy settings:


The obvious omission is the ability for me to show it to nobody. Ah wait - if I select 'customise' I see this option:


Only me: That's fine. But why the hell is it a custom option? The original selection list could have included the 'only me' option instead of forcing me to launch the modal window and select it from there every time. Are 5 items in the original selection list too many?

And why the duplication? Why do 'friends of friends' and 'only friends' appear in both the standard and custom lists? How can they simultaneously be standard options and custom options at the same?

The real problem: Another thing Facebook don't get

Poor usability aside, I'm not saying Facebook have evil intentions, but instead they have a curiously poor understanding of their target audience.

The new privacy settings by default are aimed at making all your private information public, unless you proactively limit access to it.

In what can only be described as a golden text book example of this problem is that about the new settings, and inadvertently made around 300 of his personal photos, personal calendar and wall publicly available. Oops!

The question asks itself: If someone with the technical prowess of the Facebook creator can't easily manage his own personal information, are less savvy users also going to expose personal information?

I'll bet money on it.

Marvin the Martian

Marvin the Martian

Monday 14th December 2009 | 05:40 AM
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Perhaps this will make people more aware of the issues relating not only to development and UI, but also to the security and privacy issues relating to the internet in general, and social networking more specifically.

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Monday 14th December 2009 | 09:28 AM
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Haha! Pretty obvious that there are issues when MZ himself gets confused. But, I would argue that it's a bit pointless putting things on Facebook that are only visible to yourself... I don't need FB to remember my mobile number for me!

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Gift giving

Gift giving

Friday 18th December 2009 | 05:22 PM
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Maybe they really do not know nothing about their target audience. But what can the users do, it is the sites regulations now.

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