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Web Privacy Concerns Prompt Facebook Changes

Mar 21, 2008 (Talk of the Nation)

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Does it sometimes seem like the Web sites you visit know a little too much about you? While many users say they want more privacy on the Web, they are still likely to reveal data about themselves and their habits online.

One company at the forefront of the privacy issue is the social networking site Facebook. It houses the photos, contact details and personal information of more than 60 million active users and it continues to grow. The site claims an average of 250,000 new registrations per day.

Amid concerns about privacy, the site recently unveiled new features that give users more control over who can see their information. The new features allow users to group friends into different categories and then determine which of those groups can access information on their profiles.

It also introduces a "Friends of Friends" option with which users may make privacy exceptions for people connected to them through friends.

Emily Vander Veer, author of Facebook: The Missing Manual, weighs in on how to maintain an active Facebook profile without losing control of your personal data.

But privacy issues on the Web are encountered not just on social networking sites such as Facebook. They are just about everywhere.

Daniel Weitzner, policy director at the World Wide Web Consortium, and Alessandro Acquisiti, co-editor of Digital Privacy: Theory, Technologies, and Practices, talk about ways to keep your personal life under wraps in the digital age.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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