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Facebook Privacy, What is the Big Deal?

Updated on June 3, 2010

Facebook Privacy

Is Facebook Privacy Really an Issue?
Is Facebook Privacy Really an Issue?

Facebook Privacy, What's the Big Deal?

Facebook is by far one of the world's most popular social networks, and yet in the last month the media has been going crazy about Facebook Privacy. There have been a fair number of Facebook privacy issues over the past few years, however most of what the media misses is that the Facebook Privacy options are far superior to any of the competition.

Despite the attenton facebook has been getting, with claims of an upcoming mass exodus and similar, the truth of the matter is that Facebook has a fairly stable position in the market, and has retained much of it's simplicity.

It has few of the problems that come with MySpace, including the resource hungry webpages which can take up to 150MB in memory resources.

As well as the unexplained complaints of Facebook Privacy issues, there are even more peple complaining that there are too MANY privacy options, two complaints which really are not mutually exclusive. 

However again, the privacy options in Facebook are some of the simplest to use of any social media network

Facebook Privacy, Can People See My Profile When it's Private?

A lot of concerns to do with Facebook Privacy are to do with people being able to see your content even when you set it to friends only, or even specific groups.  So here is the truth behind Facebook Privacy when it comes to profiles which have been set to private.

  • You can set the amount of information released on your profile to friends only. On top of that you can put your friend in to groups, some of whom can see more of your profile than others.
  • Google sees your page as a Visitor, which means it will only cache your page if you make it public.  There is no Facebook privacy issue here unless you have recently changed your profile to private, in which case Google may have a cached version of your facebook page for up to a month.  This is a problem with Google though, not Facebook privacy!

Seems simple enough right? So why do people complain about Facebook privacy, if the option is there to keep things private?

The Number One Reason for Complaints about Facebook Privacy


The real issue of Facebook privacy is that all the computer savvy people have made Facebook so popular that technological not-have users have joined up.  The number one reason that people complain about Facebook Privacy is quite simply ignorance.

This means that people often worry needlessly about having their data spread across the Internet, or find themselves having difficult with options which most people become isntantly familiar with.

Facebook Privacy - Will my Facebok Data be Sold?

The myth about Facebook Privacy issues to do with selling facebook user data really is just a myth.  There were some concerns after Facebook put a small clause stating that user data may be sold to third parties, Facebook soon clarified that Facebook would not sell the data, and the clause was promptly removed.

Another similar clause which stated that Facebook may use any data posted on Facebook until the user removed it also had the 'until the user removes it' part of the terms removed.

Currently Facebook collects a users data so that appropriate adverts are shown, this is however an automated procedure and no one 'looks' at your personal preferences.  This still unsettles many people, however it is completely unfounded. It simply means that advertisers only display their adverts on the profiles of people who have similar interests to the advertisement.

Facebook Privacy Settings are Too Complicated

I think my favorite word in teh English language sums up this complaint rather nicely.


The privacy settings in Facebook are well laid out and simple, it would be impossible to simplify these privacy options any further without, retarding Facebook itself in to a Useless twitter like application.

Even if you have trouble figuring out Facebooks privacy options yourself, Facebook Privacy options are explained in detail with several Facebook Privacy options videos, and Facebook Privacy option step by step guides.

The people who spend all their time complaining about the complexity of Facebook privacy options would be better off spending their time reading a manual.

So is there actually a Facebook Privacy Issue?

In my opinion, No.

Facebook is one of the most secure, flexible and popular social media networks on the Internet, most of the complaints on Facebook privacy are from people who simply have not spent the time figuring out how Facebook privacy settings work.

Infact most of the drama that the media is now jumping on is actually due to concerns of users 6 months ago when Facebook changed it's privacy settings to make them more flexible, and allow people to ignore the mass of application invites, but in the process opened everyone's Facebook profiles so they were publicly viewable. This was however fixed quite some time ago, which makes much of the current media attention on Facebook Privacy unfounded


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    • iain-mars profile image

      iain-mars 5 years ago from United Kingdom

      people need to stop complaining about Facebook's privacy - i'm on Facebook myself and my business has a page. if you've got something you want to hide either a) don't put it on Facebook or b) crank your privacy settings to the max!

    • lwelizabeth profile image

      lwelizabeth 7 years ago from Florida, USA

      Very well said! I wish people would stop complaining because you're right, the very first issue is ignorance about the reality of privacy on Facebook.

    • LaMamaLoli profile image

      LaMamaLoli 7 years ago from London

      Lol! Well said! Have you posted this on Facebook? Lol

    • suziecat7 profile image

      suziecat7 7 years ago from Asheville, NC

      I like Facebook and don't worry about privacy issues there. I agree with your statements here and believe it is much ado about nothing.