There were two great articles in the New York Times regarding Facebook’s complicated maze to opting-out of “instant personalization”. This infographic shows the complexity of steps a user must go through to retain original privacy settings and bar 3rd party websites access to information. Another article, goes further to explain that after completing the process, a user’s private information may still be revealed. Summary:
- Users are forced to click over 50 buttons, with 170 additional setting options, to protect information previously set as “private”.
- Despite mastering the maze to opt-out, some information is still accessible to outside websites.
Of the 400 million users on Facebook, approximately 52 million are minors. “Instant Personalization” is difficult for any user to decipher, let alone a juvenile. How many of these users will actually take the time to navigate the Facebook privacy labyrinth? What percentage of parents is aware of the new policy and that their children’s personal information will be shared with 3rd party websites?
Takeaway: Just as the user must adhere to a service agreement, social networking sites have a responsibility to explain policies in a manner users, particularly those under the age of 18, can understand and protect established privacy settings.
As marketers what responsibility do we have to ensure we are not seen as taking advantage of these kinds of situations, if any? Add your comments!