Facebook has been forced to make changes to its new privacy settings, after widespread complaints that they just create new and more serious privacy problems.
The changes were intended to simplify the popular social network’s protection system and give users more control over who sees their information.
However an Internet watchdog, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, says the changes are clearly intended to push Facebook users to publicly share even more information than before.
“Even worse, the changes will actually reduce the amount of control that users have over some of their personal data,” wrote EFF blogger Kevin Bankston.
"The privacy transition tool that guides users through the configuration will recommend the setting to share content with everyone on the Internet, even though the previous default level was limited to 'Your Networks and Friends'," he said.
Similar complaints were voiced by the American Civil Liberties Union and the Electronic Privacy Information Centre.
In response, Facebook says it has improved the Friend List visibility option.
“Now when you uncheck the ‘Show my friends on my profile’ option in the Friends box on your profile, your Friend List won't appear on your profile regardless of whether people are viewing it while logged into Facebook or logged out,” the company’s blog said.
“This information is still publicly available, however, and can be accessed by applications.”
The EFF has urged Facebook users not to simply adopt Facebook’s “recommended” privacy settings, but to carefully customise the settings themselves, to ensure their postings are shared only with their preferred ‘friends’.