Showing posts with label Privacy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Privacy. Show all posts

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Facebook Redesigns Privacy and Offers More Powerful Controls

26 May 2010 18:45 Africa/Lagos

Facebook Redesigns Privacy

Simplifies Choices and Offers More Powerful Controls

PALO ALTO, Calif., May 26 /PRNewswire/ -- Facebook today responded to user comments and concerns about privacy by announcing it will introduce simpler and more powerful controls for sharing personal information. New settings will give the more than 400 million people who use Facebook the power to control exactly who can see the information and content they share, all with just a few simple clicks. In addition, new settings will be added to make it easier to turn off third-party applications or websites. Facebook Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg officially announced the changes in a blog post today at

"When we started Facebook, we built it around a few simple ideas," said Zuckerberg. "When people have control over what they share, they want to share more. When people share more, the world becomes more open and connected. Over the past few weeks, the number one thing we've heard is that many users want a simpler way to control their information. Today we're starting to roll out changes that will make our controls simpler and easier."

The company's new privacy controls reflect wide-ranging consultation with the office of Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) and a number of online privacy and consumer advocacy groups. These include the Center for Democracy and Technology, Consumer Action, Future of Privacy Forum, Electronic Frontier Foundation, Progress and Freedom Foundation, NetChoice, CATO Institute, TRUSTe, Technology Policy Institute, and Information Technology and Innovation Foundation. The consultations have proven extremely helpful in both clarifying and communicating Facebook's privacy principles, and have greatly contributed to the design and implementation of the new privacy controls. These updated controls will start rolling out today and will be live for all Facebook users in the coming weeks.

Zuckerberg first announced Facebook's intention to make these changes in a Washington Post op-ed ( 28.html) that detailed principles by which Facebook operates:

1. People have control over how their information is shared.
2. Facebook does not share personal information with people or services
users don't want.
3. Facebook does not give advertisers access to people's personal
4. Facebook does not sell any of people's information to anyone.
5. Facebook will always be a free service for everyone.

Today's announcement focuses on the first two of these principles.

Making Control Simple

One control for content: A new simple control makes it easy to share on Facebook with friends, friends of friends or everyone--all with just one click. The corresponding settings are immediately applied and displayed in an easy-to-understand grid. At the same time, Facebook has maintained its more granular settings for those who want to customize their level of sharing. These settings now all appear on a single page for easier access.

Retroactive control: People who choose the more restrictive "Friends Only" or "Friends of Friends" options with the simple control will have the corresponding setting for all the content they posted previously for sharing. Thus, a person can make all the content they've ever shared on Facebook more private with just a couple of clicks.

Future products: Facebook commits to carry over people's privacy choices for new products that facilitate sharing. Thus, if someone chooses "Friends Only" for "Sharing on Facebook," new products that have privacy settings will be automatically set to "Friends Only." This means Facebook users don't have to worry about new settings in the future.

Prioritizing simplicity: Granularity of control has always been a primary objective in Facebook's privacy design. Starting with the changes announced today, the company will also prioritize ease-of-use in its privacy design.

Fewer privacy changes: Facebook's goal is to make privacy-related changes with less frequency and to work within the framework announced today as it continues to innovate new features and products.

Less Publicly Available Information

Significantly less public information: Facebook has drastically reduced the amount of information that is available to everyone. This information is now limited to name, profile picture (should a user choose to have one), gender (though this can be hidden on the profile), and networks (should the user join any).

Privacy controls for Pages: Connections to Pages, which were previously available to everyone, will have privacy settings that work for both ends of the connection. People can prevent others from seeing Pages on their profile and from seeing them in the "People who like this" boxes on the Pages themselves. Applications will also need to ask for explicit permission in order to access any of your Pages that are not visible to everyone.

Easier Opt Outs

Full control over how applications and websites on Facebook Platform access information: In response to requests, Facebook has added a simple way for people to completely turn off Platform applications and websites, so that your information is not shared with applications, even information available to everyone.

Easier opt-out of Instant Personalization Pilot Program: Facebook has also made it easier for people to turn off the instant personalization program, which prevents those, and any future, applications in the program from accessing their information.

Granular data permissions for applications and websites: Facebook also highlighted the new controls users have over information shared with applications and websites on Facebook Platform. With the new data permissions model, applications must obtain specific approval before gaining access to any personal information that a user has not made available to "Everyone."

What People Are Saying

"Facebook's users have spoken and made it clear that they want control of their information. Despite all rumors to the contrary, privacy is not dead, it is on its way to a comeback in the form of simplified controls and better policies," said Leslie Harris, President, Center for Democracy and Technology. "While more work still needs to be done, these changes are the building blocks to giving people what they want and deserve."

"People care about privacy now more than ever. We are pleased that Facebook has pledged to improve user control and choice and we look forward to working together to help them follow through on this commitment," said Michelle De Mooy, Senior Associate at Consumer Action. "We believe the company must work with a broad coalition of consumer and privacy advocates, regulators, and legislators in order to raise the bar and lead the industry toward empowering and protecting consumers online. We also hope that this step forward from Facebook will send a message to industry that strong privacy standards aren't just good policy, they're good business."

"The message that all companies should be taking away from this is that managing digital identity is critically important to Internet users of all ages and backgrounds. Facebook is taking steps that are essential for user trust by providing users with additional control over the personal data they share. As sites, services and devices grow increasingly complex, the challenge for Facebook and for others going forward is to continue to seek innovations that ensure that privacy tools can be intuitive for users," said Jules Polonetsky, Director, Future of Privacy Forum.

"Facebook's announcement should remind us all that online services actively compete in the market of public opinion based on their commitment to empowering users to make their own choices about privacy," said Berin Szoka, Senior Fellow and Director of the Center for Internet Freedom at Progress and Freedom Foundation. "Facebook has affirmed that commitment by responding to user demands to allow users to restrict visibility of their friends and their 'likes,' and to opt-out completely from sharing of information with third-party applications and external websites. Just as important is the improved user interface, which maximizes both granularity of user control and ease of use--two things that are always in tension. Achieving both complexity and simplicity requires ongoing, iterative process of innovation."

"These new features give consumers more choice and more control over their information--a win for both Facebook and its users," said Daniel Castro, Senior Analyst for the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation. "Facebook's latest changes show that companies are responding appropriately to their customers' concerns about privacy. In this case, market and customer feedback are more effective tools for meeting consumer needs than heavy-handed privacy regulations that would only impede innovation."

"Providing people with true privacy choices that are both simple and transparent is no easy task. Facebook's changes to make its privacy settings more accessible, as well as to provide broader opt-out choices, reflect both the company's deep commitment to control and its ability to quickly innovate and incorporate feedback," said Fran Maier, President of TRUSTe. "We will continue to work closely with Facebook to ensure that it lives up to the commitments it has made to its users."

Announcement Fact Sheet

The Changes
-- Completely redesigned the privacy settings page to be much more
-- Created one control for content. A new simple control makes it easy to
share on Facebook with friends, friends of friends or everyone--all
with just one click. The corresponding settings are immediately
applied and displayed in an easy-to-understand grid. At the same
time, Facebook has maintained its more granular settings for those who
want to customize their level of sharing. These settings now all
appear on a single page for easier access.
-- Significantly reduced the amount of information that is always visible
to everyone. Friends and Pages (your connections) can now be
restricted to anyone you want. To help people recognize you, your
name, profile picture, networks, and gender are always open to
everyone (though half of these you don't need to add).
-- Given you more control over how applications and websites access your
information. Now you can completely turn off Facebook Platform
applications and websites, which means that your information will not
be shared with applications. We also made it very simple to turn off
instant personalization. You can ensure that your information is not
shared with current or future instant personalization applications by
un-checking the box to "Enable instant personalization".
-- Get a better understanding of how you like to share on Facebook. The
new presets help us understand the overall privacy level you're
comfortable with for the things you share. As we roll out new
products, we want to apply the right setting for you at the
outset--eliminating the need for you to check your setting each time a
new feature is introduced. We're committed to carrying over your
presets for new products that facilitate sharing. So, if you choose
the "Friends Only" preset for "Sharing on Facebook", new products that
have privacy settings will be automatically set to "Friends Only" as
-- Not changing anything about our advertising programs: we never sell
any of your personal information to anyone. There's a rumor that the
more openly you share your information the more money we make, but
it's just wrong. Advertisers may target ads to people according to
certain demographics, but they receive only anonymous data reports. We
don't share your personal information with our advertisers.

Data points
-- Reduced the number of settings required to make all information
private from nearly 50 to less than 15.
-- Introduced presets that cover 18 individual settings for sharing with
one single control--two clicks to control what had been more than 100
different options.
-- Consolidated 10 settings on 3 separate pages into 7 settings on one
-- Reduced the number of separate pages in privacy center from 13 to 8.

Q. How are users being informed of these changes?

As we roll this out, we will be posting a message to all users on the homepage pointing them to information that explains the changes. In addition, we have and will continue to devote significant resources to educating people about the control they have on Facebook. Before rolling out these changes we will update our robust privacy education materials, including a new privacy guide (, instructional videos posted to our blog and Facebook Page, and numerous FAQs in our Help Center. Finally, we are committed to working with non-profit organizations to raise awareness among their constituents.

Q. Were users involved in this redesign?

Yes, we incorporated four rounds of iterative user testing into the redesign process. In each of these tests we worked with a variety of users, from those that classified themselves as very open to those that classified themselves as very closed. In each round of testing users were given a variety of tasks to measure both their understanding of the features, as well as their experience using the privacy controls. We then continuously modified the explanatory language, the placement and the visual presentation of the controls based on the users' experiences.

Q. Where can people provide feedback on these changes?

We hope these changes demonstrate the tremendous respect we have for the hundreds of millions of people who use Facebook every day, and our commitment to ensuring that each of these people continues to feel comfortable sharing and connecting. Today, as always, we encourage our users to submit their thoughts and feedback:

Q. How soon until everyone gets the new privacy settings?

We are working hard to make the simpler privacy controls available to everyone as soon as possible. However, as is our standard practice with most products we launch, we will begin with a slow roll out and will gradually increase the number of people who with new controls. This process started today and will be complete in the next couple of weeks.



Source: Facebook

CONTACT: Facebook,

Web Site:

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Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Most Americans Willing to Sacrifice Some Privacy to Enhance Safe Air Travel

13 Apr 2010 13:00 Africa/Lagos

Most Americans Willing to Sacrifice Some Privacy to Enhance Safe Air Travel, According to Latest Unisys Security Index

With economic and H1N1 worries receding, concerns over airport security and terrorism trump other U.S. public fears U.S. concerns about safety of online transactions at highest level since start of Unisys Security Index three years ago

BLUE BELL, Pa., April 13 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Ninety-three percent of Americans said they are willing to sacrifice some level of privacy to increase safety when traveling by air, according to research conducted in January and February by Unisys Corporation (NYSE:UIS) . Nearly two-thirds of Americans (65%) said they are willing to cooperate with full electronic body scans at the airport, and more than half (57%) would be willing to submit to identity checks using biometric data such as iris scans or fingerprints.

Nearly three quarters of Americans (72%) said they are willing to provide personal data in advance of air travel to increase security.

The findings, part of the latest bi-annual Unisys Security Index, illustrate that recent events such as the attempted Christmas Day airline bombing may have made security a priority for air travelers. A clear majority of citizens in nearly every country surveyed said they would be willing to forgo privacy to increase air travel security. For example, 90% of citizens in the United Kingdom and 70% of Australians said they would submit to electronic body scans.

"An overwhelming majority of the global population is willing to cooperate with enhanced travel security mandates, suggesting that the public is willing to give up some privacy in return for safer air travel," said Mark Cohn, vice president of enterprise security, Unisys. "This suggests that the public supports technologies, communications and personnel to enhance security at our nation's airports, borders and ports."

Recognizing the need to address air travel security concerns, Unisys today also announced the launch of its Next Generation Airport Passenger Security Solution ( This new solution integrates advanced technologies with existing IT and communication systems to provide passengers with a streamlined travel experience while enhancing security and reducing costs.

The latest results of the Unisys Security Index also confirmed that national security and identity theft rank as America's top concerns, with nearly two-thirds (65%) "extremely" or "very" concerned about U.S. national security and 64% seriously concerned about identity theft.

Nearly two-thirds of Americans (62%) are also seriously concerned about credit and debit card fraud. The percentage of Americans who are seriously concerned about the security of online transactions is at the highest level now (43%) since the Unisys Security Index began three years ago. The percentage of Americans who are "extremely concerned" about the security of their online transactions rose to 20% (up from 16% in September 2009).

These findings reflect recent trends reported by the U.S. government and other organizations. Last month, the FBI reported that losses due to internet fraud more than doubled in 2009 to nearly $560 million. In 2009, identity theft jumped 12 percent, hitting 11.1 million U.S. consumers, according to an annual survey released last month by Javelin Strategy & Research.

Overall Results of Latest Wave of Security Index

The Unisys Security Index surveys consumer opinion on four areas of security: financial, national, Internet and personal safety. More than 1,000 Americans responded to the latest survey. The results are tallied on a scale of 0-300, with 300 representing the highest level of perceived concern.

The overall score for the current Unisys Security Index for the United States was 147, indicating a moderate level of overall security concern. The overall score came in unchanged from the last survey taken in September 2009.

National security emerged again in the latest results as the U.S. public's greatest area of concern, with 65% of those surveyed saying they were concerned about this area. The number of Americans "extremely" concerned about identity theft rose to 31%, up from 26% in September 2009.

Americans' fear surrounding their ability to meet their essential financial obligations--which was the leading concern one year ago --continues to be on the decline. The most dramatic decline was reported in those "very concerned" about financial security-- from 25% in September 2009 to 20% in February 2010.

The research reveals another significant drop in the proportion of American adults who are "very concerned" about a national health epidemic like H1N1 (30% in September 2009 to 23% presently), while there has been an uptick in Americans "not at all concerned" about a national health epidemic-- 18% in September 2009 to 21% currently.

"The finding that an overwhelming number of Americans are willing to submit private information to enjoy safe air travel provides strong evidence that the public's privacy fears may be in decline," said Larry Ponemon, chairman and founder of the Ponemon Institute, an independent research and consulting firm. "I find the results of the Unisys Security Index as compelling evidence that people throughout the world care deeply about their personal safety, especially when traveling on a commercial airline."

Additional key global findings from the latest Unisys Security Index include:

-- Citizens of the UK were the most accepting of electronic body scans at
airports, with 90% of citizens approving the procedure. A large
majority of the Dutch public (81%) were also in favor, followed by
Australians (70%).
-- Mexico and Hong Kong were the only countries surveyed in which a
majority did not indicate willingness to submit to electronic body
scans at airports. Only 24% of the Mexican adults and 45% of those in
Hong Kong said they would support use of the procedure.
-- Security concerns were highest in Brazil, which reported an overall
index score of 177, closely followed by Mexico with a score of 173.
The Netherlands reported the lowest level of concern with an overall
score of 70.
-- Identity crime ranks as the overall greatest concern in the United
Kingdom. 87% of UK adults are worried about unauthorized access to
their personal information and the same percentage expressed fear
about other people obtaining or using their credit card or debit card
-- National security concern is extremely high in Mexico. More than
three-quarters of Mexicans (77%) are seriously concerned about
national security, the top concern in the country. Only 4% of Mexicans
said they were not concerned about national security.

About the Unisys Security Index

The Unisys Security Index is a bi-annual global study that provides insights into the attitudes of consumers on a wide range of security related issues. Lieberman Research Group conducted the survey in Latin America, Europe and the U.S.; Newspoll conducted the research in Asia-Pacific. The Unisys Security Index surveys more than 10,000 people in eleven countries: Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Germany, Hong Kong, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States. The study measures consumer perceptions on a scale of zero to 300, with 300 representing the highest level of perceived concern. For more information, visit

About Unisys

Unisys is a worldwide information technology company. We provide a portfolio of IT services, software, and technology that solves critical problems for clients. We specialize in helping clients secure their operations, increase the efficiency and utilization of their data centers, enhance support to their end users and constituents, and modernize their enterprise applications. To provide these services and solutions, we bring together offerings and capabilities in outsourcing services, systems integration and consulting services, infrastructure services, maintenance services, and high-end server technology. With more than 25,000 employees, Unisys serves commercial organizations and government agencies throughout the world. For more information, visit

RELEASE NO.: 0413/8962

Unisys is a registered trademark of Unisys Corporation. All other brands and products referenced herein are acknowledged to be trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective holders.

Source: Unisys

CONTACT: Brad Bass, Unisys, +1-703-439-5887,; or
Mary McCeney, Weber Shandwick for Unisys, +1-212-445-8160,