Saturday, July 04, 2009

By Dan Whitworth
Newsbeat technology reporter

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Facebook is the most popular social networking site in the world

The social networking site Facebook has come under fire for planned changes to its privacy settings.

It wants to "simplify" the process so users only have to set them once, instead of for each individual feature.

Facebook says the change will help people share more information with one another.

However, critics argue the new set up could lead to members being persuaded to share too many personal details - their date of birth for example.

Tom Royal is from Computeractive magazine.

He said: "I'm a little bit worried about the settings recommended by Facebook because as far as I can see it's actually sharing quite a lot of information with quite a few people.

"That's not something we'd advise people to do. We'd very much recommend people choose the 'limited' option instead.

"For example, just your date of birth can be a security question for lots of internet applications."

Facebook argues a 'one size fits all' approach will make things more straightforward for users.

"The effect of more and more settings has made controlling privacy on Facebook too complicated," according to the site's chief privacy officer Chris Kelly.

It's also phasing out regional networks like London and Manchester because Kelly says "they don't adequately reflect a world where people choose the audience they want to share with".

The number of people using Facebook has risen above the 20 million mark this year in the UK.

It is the most popular social networking site in the world, with 200 million members globally.




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