McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

Features

October 29, 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 | Photo Reprints
Features
Seasonal Content
AP Video
Disbanding Muslim Surveillance Draws Praise Hundreds Missing After South Korean Ferry Sinks Passengers Abuzz After Plane Hits Swarm of Bees Boston Bomb Scare Defendant Appears in Court Pistorius Trial: Adjourned Until May 5 Diaz Gets Physical for New Comedy Raw: Ferry Sinks Off South Korean Coast Town, Victims Remember Texas Blast Freeze Leaves Florida Panhandle With Dead Trees At Boston Marathon, a Chance to Finally Finish Are School Dress Codes Too Strict? Raw: Fatal Ferry Boat Accident Suspicious Bags Found Near Marathon Finish Line Boston Marks the 1st Anniversary of Bombing NYPD Ends Muslim Surveillance Program 8-year-old Boy Gets His Wish: Fly Like Iron Man Sex Offenders Arrested in Slayings of CA Women India's Transgenders Celebrate Historic Ruling Tributes Mark Boston Bombing Anniversary Raw: Kan. Shooting Suspect Faces Judge
NDN Video
Jenny McCarthy Engaged to "New Kid" Kate and Will Land in Oz Boston Bomb Scare Defendant Appears in Court Bay Area Teen Gets Prom Date With Help From 'Breaking Bad' Star Behind The Tanlines Jersey Strong Part 1 WATCH: Women Fight To Marry Prince Harry! O’Reilly Launches Preemptive Strike Against CBS Pixar Unveils Easter Eggs From its Biggest Movies Baby Sloths Squeak for Their Cuddle Partners in Adorable Video Miley Cyrus Hospitalized After Severe Reaction To Medicine Raw: Ferry Sinks Off South Korean Coast Toddler climbs into vending machine 8-year-old Boy Gets His Wish: Fly Like Iron Man Much-Anticipated 'Gone Girl' Trailer Finally Debuts! (VIDEO) Dog and Toddler Wear Matching Outfits in Adorable Photo Series VP Biden: "World witnesses ordinary citizens doing extraordinary things" It's Official! Michael Strahan Joins "GMA" Blood Moon Time-lapse Actress Lake Bell Goes Topless The Five Weirdest Local Taxes in America
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.