Privacy and Social Networking

Facebook has been in the spotlight recently for being under pressure to improve its privacy settings. The social networking site is by far the largest on the Internet, with 400 million users so far. But Facebook is not the only social networking site that has had to offer options for users to control who sees their data online. How are the others doing?

In an article on the PC Magazine website, Chloe Albanesius compares Facebook’s privacy settings to those of MySpace, Google Buzz, LinkedIn and Friendster.

On MySpace, the user’s comments page, friends list, photos and user stream are customizable for privacy one by one, but the application doesn’t appear to allow customization of other settings, such as blocking specified people from viewing photos. Google Buzz, which incorporates social components into Gmail, requires that the user create a digital profile but does have an option to control what information is displayed to the general public, says the article. LinkedIn has a “somewhat cluttered interface” that makes it difficult to find its similar option, but it does exist. And on Friendster (which existed before Facebook), anyone can view anything at set-up and it’s a bit confusing for the user to change those settings.

To read the PC Magazine article, click here:,2817,2364317,00.asp