Thursday, May 27, 2010

Facebook changes are 'not enough,' say groups

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) says that "more is needed" from Facebook to address privacy criticisms.
In a blog post, the civil liberties group praised Facebook for a "great first step" towards giving members of the site more control over their data.
However, it warned members against choosing the site's recommended privacy control setting.
Doing that shares "a substantial amount" of information widely, the group claimed.
"The changes are pretty good, though more is needed," wrote Kevin Bankston, senior staff attorney at the EFF.
Facebook's decision to enable users to either select one setting to cover all information or to choose individual settings for different types of information (such as making photos more private than status updates for example) struck a "good balance" said Mr Bankston.
The foundation still had concerns about third-party access to individual profile information though.
"Facebook is a site that many people joined because it was a more private alternative to sites like MySpace and Twitter," wrote Mr Bankston.
"To keep in line with user expectations, no information should be required to be publicly available."
Simon Davies, director of Privacy International, also questioned whether Facebook had gone far enough with its new arrangements.
"I don't know whether these reforms on their own are going to satisfy the overwhelming force for change and reform," he told the BBC.
"Perhaps people are unable to reconcile the two worlds they live in," he added, explaining that the concept of Facebook friendship is not as arbitrary as it is in face-to-face life.
"Facebook has a monolithic approach to friendship - but as you build friendship you build the privacy along with it. Perhaps a privacy model should follow that," he said.
Amichai Shulman, chief technology officer at net security firm Imperva, said that services such as Facebook were ultimately designed for information sharing.
The essence of social networks is to provoke solicited, and unsolicited, interactions between individuals," he said.
"Privacy does not coincide with the interests of Facebook creators or with the attitude of many Facebook users."
However the site must now fight to regain the trust of its members he added.
"Today, Facebook is at a serious crossroads. If it continues giving the impression that user privacy is a football, it risks further alienating them."

Facebook Privacy Fixes: Your Guide to the Newest Changes

After feeling intense heat from its users regarding recent changes to its privacy policy, Facebook introduced new settings today. The streamlined settings are intended to help users better understand and more easily manage the information that they share.

In an announcement this afternoon, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg admitted that, "A lot of what we were trying to do, we didn't communicate." Zuckerberg, a proponent of "openness" and sharing, told reporters he's trying to join these two ideas with more privacy.

"The number-one thing we've heard is that there just needs to be a simpler way to control your information," Zuckerberg wrote in a statement. "We've always offered a lot of controls, but if you find them too hard to use, then you won't feel like you have control. Unless you feel in control, then you won't be comfortable sharing, and our service will be less useful for you."

Facebook has done some serious streamlining. Among the changes:

-It reduced the number of settings required to make all information private from nearly 50 to fewer than 15.

-Consolidated 10 settings on three separate pages into seven settings on one page.

-Reduced the number of separate pages in the privacy center from 13 to 8.

The new privacy controls, which are rolling out gradually over the next several weeks, focus on three items: a single control for your content; more powerful controls for your basic information; and an easy way to turn off all applications. Here's what you need to know.

1. Managing Your Facebook Content
Sharing on Facebook: The first new control helps you set who can see the content you post. This includes your status updates and photos, as well as your birthday and contact information, comments on your posts, and photos in which you've been tagged.

With a few clicks, you can set the content you've posted to be open to everyone, friends of your friends, or just your friends. The granular controls--such as restricting individual people or lists from viewing content--will still be available. You'll find this under "Customize settings."

For more on Facebook privacy, read "Facebook Privacy Changes: 5 Can't-Miss Facts."

Additionally, when you specify a control for this section, Facebook will use it as a precedent when it launches new products in the future. For example, if you set this control to share content with only your friends, future settings will be set only to friends so you don't have to worry about making changes.

2. Managing Your Basic Information
Basic Directory Information: Facebook also reduced the amount of basic information that must be visible to everyone. Before, your friends and pages were public information. Now, you have the ability to control who can view these.

[Facebook Privacy Fix: New Tool Finds Trouble Spots]

Information that will remain public includes: your name, profile picture, gender and networks. Other information, including your hometown and activities, will be visible by default.

3. Controlling Applications and Websites
Applications and Websites: The last privacy control Facebook unveiled helps you control whether applications and websites (including search engines) can access any of your information. If you don't use any Facebook games or applications, you can choose to turn off "Platform" entirely. This will ensure that none of your information is shared with applications or websites.

[For more on Facebook, check out's Facebook Bible: Everything You Need to Know About Facebook.]

Facebook also is addressing another pain point: instant personalization. Now, partner sites can only see things you've made visible to everyone. If you want to prevent them from seeing that data, Facebook is making it easier to turn it off completely.

Top ten anroid Phones

Last Rated:
April 18, 2010

1. HTC Droid Incredible
The HTC Incredible is one of the most impressive Android phones available with a gorgeous display, slick user interface, and lightning-fast processor.
Full Review

Last Rated:
May 20, 2010

The speedy HTC EVO 4G packs in some powerful specs and a variety of multimedia features into a stylish, minimalist design, but not everybody will get to enjoy one of its best features--4G connectivity.
Full Review • Video Review • Specs

Last Rated:
March 11, 2010

3. Google Nexus One
The Google Nexus One impresses with a stunning AMOLED display, speedy performance, and cool tweaks to the Android OS; but some network issues prevent it from being a superphone.
Full Review • Video Review • Specs

Last Rated:
October 28, 2009

4. Motorola Droid
The first Android 2.0 phone impresses with a strong suite of Web features and a stunning 3.7-inch display, but some users might have trouble with the shallow keyboard.
Full Review • Video Review • Specs

Last Rated:
December 14, 2009

5. Motorola Cliq
The beautifully designed Motorola Cliq is a social butterfly's dream phone, but others may find the MotoBlur user interface overwhelming.
Full Review • Specs

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Last Rated:
December 12, 2009

6. Samsung Behold II
With a gorgeous AMOLED display and an excellent camera, the pricey Samsung Behold II will appeal to multimedia junkies with deep pockets.
Full Review • Video Review • Specs

7. Samsung Moment
The Moment impresses with a vivid AMOLED display and roomy QWERTY keyboard, but the software is quirky and the touchscreen can be slow.
Full Review • Specs

Last Rated:
November 05, 2009

8. HTC Droid Eris
If you can live without a hardware keyboard, the HTC Droid Eris is an affordable and feature-packed alternative to the Motorola Droid.
Full Review • Specs

9. HTC Hero
The HTC Hero marks a giant step in innovation of the Android platform, but it isn't without flaws.
Full Review • Specs

Last Rated:
August 06, 2009

10. T-Mobile myTouch 3G
The T-Mobile myTouch 3G is a big improvement from its predecessor, but the physical keyboard is sorely missed.
Full Review • Video Review • Test Report • Specs