The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Community News Network

October 17, 2013

Facebook eases teens' privacy policies

Facebook relaxed its privacy policies for teenagers on its network Wednesday, allowing underage users to share more information with the general public.

Facebook had previously prevented users between ages 13 and 17 from sharing information outside their extended network — their friends or friends of friends. That restriction is now being lifted.

Under the new policy, when teens join the site, they will automatically have stronger privacy protections, and the information they post will be visible only to their friends. But they will also have the flexibility to change those settings and share their posts with a general Internet audience.

In a blog post, Facebook said the changes will give teens more control over what information they share with the public.

But privacy groups said Facebook has failed to address complaints that it hasn't adequately protected its youngest users. Facebook is addressing what teens "choose to share consciously, not the under-the-hood forms of [data] collection that the site enables and [has] increasingly become more sophisticated," said Kathryn Montgomery, a privacy advocate and communications professor at American University.

Facebook did not disclose how many of its more than 1 billion users are teenagers and would fall under the new policy, but the Pew Internet and American Life has estimated that 94 percent of teens who use social networks have Facebook accounts. Under Facebook's policies, underage users agree that their parents have given them permission to use the site, but the site does not require certification.

Facebook said that allowing teens to share more with the general public brings the site's policies in line with competitors, including Twitter. Teens can already use other platforms to publicly weigh in on current events, the company said. But before the change, celebrity teens, for example, had to create separate fan pages to promote their movies or music to a wide audience.

Text Only
Community News Network
Featured Ads
More Resources from The Herald Bulletin
AP Video
Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kerry: No Deal Yet on 7-Day Gaza Truce Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow Gaza Residents Mourn Dead Amid Airstrikes Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground Ohio State Marching Band Chief Fired After Probe Raw: Big Rig Stuck in Illinois Swamp Cumberbatch Brings 'Penguins' to Comic-Con Raw: Air Algerie Crash Site in Mali Power to Be Restored After Wash. Wildfire Crashed Air Algerie Plane Found in Mali Israel Mulls Ceasefire Amid Gaza Offensive In Case of Fire, Oxygen Masks for Pets Mobile App Gives Tour of Battle of Atlanta Sites
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Helium debate
Helium
Front page
Poll

Do you think Madison County and its cities need stricter pet ownership laws?

Yes, animal abuse is rampant in our area and something needs to be done.
Yes, but it may not help. It’s difficult to enforce such laws.
No, the laws are fine as they are.
Not sure
     View Results