Technology

Facebook privacy settings to be made simpler

Social network giant Facebook will roll out a new set of privacy settings to all its users starting on 26 May.

Founder Mark Zuckerberg and other senior Facebook executives will discuss the changes at its Palo Alto headquarters at 10.30 PST (18.30 BST).

Facebook faced a barrage of criticism from users over a series of tweaks that left its members unsure about how public their information had become.

Some profile owners have threatened to quit the site on 31 May in protest.

Founder Mark Zuckerberg admitted the company had "missed the mark".

"I can confirm that our new, simpler privacy settings are starting to roll out tomorrow evening so stay tuned on our blog for more details," said a spokesperson.

Facebook's vice president of product Chris Cox described the last few weeks as "extremely humbling".

Significant changes to the settings began in December, when the social network changed the default rule on profile information.

Users had the choice of whether to open information to just friends, friends of friends or everyone, with defaults suggesting different settings for different aspects of a person's profile.

The changes were, in part, a response to changes demanded by the Canadian privacy commissioner.

But it created more controversy and criticism that the process was too confusing.

Ten US privacy groups filed a complaint to the Federal Trade Commission and the European Commission began its own investigation.

In April of this year, the firm moved a step further with a series of changes including the suggestion that users automatically re-categorise their interests into publicly available pages.

It also allowed more profile information to be shared with the wider web, unless users specifically opted out.

Speaking a developers' conference, Mark Zuckerberg said he wanted to move towards a web with a "social default".

The series of changes have meant that its current privacy policy has 50 different settings and 170 options and at 5,830 words is longer than the US Constitution.

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