How to Get a Handle on Your Privacy in Facebook’s New World Order

Do as I say and not as I did which was to allow Facebook’s Open Graph protocol to go crazy with my information. Facebook's Open Graph protocol creates connections between your likes and interests listed in your profile and the company fan pages and Facebook community pages.

If you haven’t spent time on Facebook since it implemented this new application last week, the graph will essentially ask you once if you’d like to make those connections.

Out of curiosity, I hit yes. Instantly 42 pages were associated with whatever I said I had a passing fancy about when I first created my account! If you made the same  mistake or think Facebook has automatically pressed the button for you (some articles mention this is the case), there are some ways to undo it by rummaging through your privacy settings.

I’ve found step by step instructions from a couple of other sites.

Read a quick and dirty tutorial from the folks at Simple Help.

Here's a meatier explanation from CIO.com.

It’s important to fine-tune your privacy settings because of the other part of Facebook’s New World Order – what the site dubs instant personalization. Say your likes and interests indicate that you like the website Pandora for instance. The Pandora site will be able to look at your profile simply because you mentioned it there and then deliver music selections that match your likes. You can opt out of that too by going to your privacy settings, then applications and websites and unchecking “allow”.

Essentially Facebook is helping websites turn into social networks. It’s convenient in one sense since FB is eliminating the need to join yet another network with yet another login. Users can share sites they visited and content on said sites by simply clicking a “like” or “recommend” button featured on that site. (Kinda sounds like retweeting right?)

But it’s troubling in another sense because once users do this, companies and organizations are given access to user information. And we really don’t know what they are doing with it in the long run.

The Senate is not exactly a fan of all of these changes. Tuesday four of them sent a complaint letter to Facebook urging them to put stronger privacy controls in place and offer better education to users on how to customize their settings.

We’ll see how and if  Facebook reacts.

Further reading:

Senators complain about Facebook privacy changes

Facebook: The Entire Web Will Be Social

Facebook’s Instant Personalization Is the Real Privacy Hairball

Your Mom’s Guide to Those Facebook Changes, and How to Block Them

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