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Should social networks like Facebook better protect our privacy?

Nov. 17, 2011

By John Vettese, Student Voices staff writer

Calling Facebook merely a popular website would be a huge understatement.

The social network is approaching universal, with 800 million users worldwide. Which is why it was such a big deal two years ago when the site altered its privacy policy. Backlash over the change, which critics said eroded privacy online, led to a recent investigation by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) over whether or not Facebook was deceptive in announcing it to its customers.

Saying it wanted to make it easier for users to control how much of their information is public and how much is viewable only to their network of friends, Facebook in December 2009 altered its settings so everyone’s information was public by default. Individuals had to then go in to their profile and choose what to make private. Critics compared this to opening the proverbial barn door to let the animals escape, and then safely locking it up. Facebook has since rolled back some of the unpopular changes, but is still heavily criticized for destroying privacy online.

So what’s the big deal? Well, there are numerous issues with having your personal information available on your profile. On the extreme side, it could leave you open to the creeps of the Internet – stalkers, predators, or folks whom you generally don’t want to know where you live and what your email address is. Even if you’re not worried about these problems, if you signed up to use the site expecting to be able to share things only with your friends, you have that expectation of privacy – and it’s lost.

There’s also a complicated question of data collection. Some worry that, the more you make public, the more Facebook keeps track of what you post about, what blog articles you like, other websites you visit – and uses that information to direct advertising to you, effectively making a buck off your personal information. There is a broad government effort to hold companies more accountable for the personal data they collect, store and trade. The Obama administration has called for a “privacy bill of rights” that would regulate the commercial collection of user data online.

It’s debatable whether this violates the U.S. Constitution. While there is no specific “right to privacy” the Supreme Court has recognized a “zone of privacy” created by the Third Amendment (privacy of one’s home) and Fourth Amendment (privacy of one’s property and person). But does that privacy extend to the Internet, if you use the Internet in your home and on your property?

While that’s a massive question to wrestle with, the FTC is addressing the issue from the angle of honesty. Responding to complaints from users and advocates, it looked into whether the privacy policy changes were deceptive – since Facebook argued it gave users more control and simpler choices while possibly opening them up to a complex web of eyes looking at their profile.

Last week, the Wall Street Journal and Los Angeles Times reported that the FTC and Facebook reached an agreement in which user profiles, rather than being public by default, are private by default.

Facebook also would be required to get users’ consent before making “material retroactive changes” to its privacy policy. In addition, according to the Journal, Faceback has to submit reports on its privacy protections every other year for the next 20 years. Similar agreements have been made with Google and Twitter.

In an interview on PBS, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said, “It’s getting more and more important to be increasingly clear and give people those controls. I don’t think we’re at the end. I think we’re going to need to keep on making it easier and easier, but that’s our mission.”

What do you think?

How can sites like Facebook better protect our privacy? Do you think Facebook’s change in its privacy policy was dishonest? Is the agreement with the FTC a fair compromise? What other measures should be taken to keep our information safe online?
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Comments
3/15/2016
Stroudsburg, PA
Natalia
Mr.Hanna/Stroudsburg JHS
Sites like Facebook can vetterprotect our privacy by limiting the amount of the information they want to know. Users should decide which information they want to put in their profiles. I think the Facebook wasn't dishonest because tgey only want to make change in they policy. It is a faur compromise because Facebook would have better control on the private policy.

3/15/2016
Stroudsburg PA
Carter H.
Mr.Hanna/Stroudsburg JHS
Sites like Facebook can better protect our privacy by limiting what information you have to put in when signing up for an account. I think the Facebook wasn't dishonest, but was actually trying to change their approach to the issue. Giving the people choices about what they want to put in was a good idea. The people that they follow should actually be real people, that would help fix the site.

3/14/2016
Stroudsburg PA
Carter H.
Mr.Hanna/Stroudsburg JHS
Sites like Facebook can better protect our privacy by limiting what information you have to put in when signing up for an account. I think the Facebook wasn't dishonest, but was actually trying to change their approach to the issue. Giving the people choices about what they want to put in was a good idea. The people that they follow should actually be real people, that would help fix the site.

12/10/2015
Diamond Bar, Ca
MeganP1
Wong/Lorbeer
You can make the option of putting your profile private or not, it's your decision. If you think your posts are going to be tracked and you're going to be followed, then don't post them. Honestly, it's easier than everybody is looking at it. I believe Facebook was not dishonest about the privacy policy because, a majority of us know how to use social media and we know that whatever we post, somebody is most likely always going to see it. If you feel like you're account is going to be tracked, make yourselves private. Don't fill the information questions about yourselves such as where do you live, where did you go to college, what's your job and what do you do, etc. If you want to be open up to everybody, put your account public. In conclusion, Facebook should not be blamed for peoples actions on there Facebook because it's not Facebook posting them, It's YOU posting them.

11/13/2014
Stroudsburg, PA
Zach
Mr.Hanna/Stroudsburg Junior HIgh School
I think what Facebook can do is ask us (the people using the website) what we want to have for our friends to see and what we want the public to see. I do not think it was dishonest what Facebook did. It wasn't their intention to do anything bad, it was just a mistake and error. The measures that should be taken to keep our information safe online is that we get to choose what we want and don't want just like i said before.

11/10/2014
Sidney, MT
Ethan
Mr. Faulhaber
I also agree with Christian on this subject. It should be an automatic thing of privacy on Facebook and other social networks. This information should only be seen by confirmed friends. The compromise with the FTC was a fair agreement also. I also believe the Fifth Amendment. This goes along with this being our property.

11/10/2014
Sidney MT
Mary
Faulhaber/SHS
I believe that Facebook should not be forced to better protect our privacy. I also believe that Third Amendment does not protect you in this situation because you can access Facebook anywhere and the internet is not your home. When you join Facebook or any socail media networks you are putting yourself out there, and into the public eye. I understand why people were irrated and why FTC got involved and made these agreements with Facebook. I believe people should do there research before they join, I strongly believe the internet is not a public place. I agree with Holly that you should be able to make your own decision on whether or not you want your profile private or public. I believe Facebooks policy was honest and that it is not there responsibility to protect our privacy

11/10/2014
Sidney High School
Tate
Mr. Faulhaber
I am going to have to agree with Christian on how that sites like Facebook should make a policy that automatically makes a users profile private only to friends and those that they add to view their info. Facebook already shows someone how to set their privacy. Facebook should also consider someones Facebook as their property because of the Fifth Amendment. I believe that the compromise with the FTC was a fair compromise. The settings on Facebook should automatically set to private so that the people will know what they are going to get themselves into when they switch it to be viewed to everyone. People shouldn't be posting things online that they do not want everyone to see. The internet is also kind of big and it would be difficult to regulate the privacy of the person on every website.

11/10/2014
Sidney/Montana
Adam
Mr. Faulhaber/Sidney High School
Facebook is a social media site, it is up to the person who is joining that site to choose what they want to show. As Adam from Creekside High School state "I believe you're the only person in control of your privacy." If there is something that someone does not want being seen, they should not be putting up somewhere where it might be shown. There are many ways in the present day times that people hack social media accounts and things such as phones. It is not up to the social media site such as Facebook to keep a huge amount of privacy. Yes they do need to have the privacy of who can see and can not see what someone posts, but if someone really wants to see it, there is a high chance they can just hack the account. Facebook and the FTC's agreement is fair but it should not be an agreement that they need to make. I can not emphasize enough that it is up to the people to keep what they want private, private, not someone else.

11/9/2014
Sidney/Montana
Sean
Mr. Faulhaber/Sidney High School
I believe that the people should be in control of our own privacy. They all just need to realize that everything on the internet is permanent, and usually there is someone who can get it if they really put their mind to it, like Kayla said. The internet isn't a place to put something you only want certain people to see, even if it is on a social media site. Yes, Facebook should have it's privacy policy set to automatically private, but I think people are giving them too much credit. The first thing anyone should do on social media, or anything on the internet in general, is to check the privacy settings, especially if you are putting "private" things up. I don't think the Third or Fourth Amendment have anything to do with privacy of the internet, because there is no real way to ensure that right, with all the ways people are able to get around it. Privacy on the internet should be mostly monitored by the person using the sites, with only minimal support from the government, because something truly personal should not be put up on the internet for anyone to see, no matter what the privacy settings say they protect.

11/9/2014
Sidney/MT
Christian
Faulhaber/Sidney High School
I believe that sites like Facebook should make a policy that automatically makes a users profile private only to friends and those that they add to view their info. When someone sets up their profile, Facebook should guide them through how a person wants their privacy settings. I think Facebook's change in its privacy policy was dishonest. Facebook should consider someones Facebook account as their property which people have a right of statedin the Fifth Amendment in the Constitution.Yes I bellieve that the compromise with the FTC was a fair compromise. Facebook settings should be set to private by default. This could be covered as stated in the article as a "zone of privacy" which is created by the Third Amendment to the Constitution. As described by Adam in a previous comment, one other measure that should be taken is probably just for the people themselves. People shouldnt be posting stuff online they don`t want everybody to see. The internet is so large it is impossible to regulate the privacy of person on every website.

11/9/2014
Sidney/Montana
Tucker
Mr. Faulhaber/ SHS
Sights like Facebook do have options for individuals to choose from to make their account more private if they choose to do so. Yet most people don't use those options, so privacy breaches could be blamed on ignorance and laziness of the user. Also, agreeing with Mr. Jabro from Creekside High School, people have to be very conscious about what they put on social networks, and much of the responsibility does rest with the user. Facebook's privacy policy was not dishonest (although it could have been even more clear than it already was) and the option was still available for users to make their information private. The agreement Facebook reached with the FTC was a very fair compromise in that, its one simple option on a networking site that had thousands of other privacy options, and it is still changeable with a few clicks of mouse. As for the Fourth Amendment and whether it ties in with internet privacy, that is a topic for strenuous discussion given that technology is here to stay, and a large part of society, and because of that maybe it should apply to the Fourth Amendment. Along with menu choices, and safer default settings, media networks also need to pay attention to the website itself and its security from hackers by constantly checking for new viruses and threats.

11/9/2014
Sidney/MT
Kory
Mr. Faulhaber/ Sidney High School
I believe that Facebook can better protect privacy by making every post private by default. That being said, I also agree with Adam from Creekside High School that if you don't want personal information made public, then don't post it. In this instance, I think that the Fourth Amendment on the right to privacy of one's property and person does apply with the coming of the internet. So, I believe that the FTC did make a fair compromise to keep everything automatically private and check on Facebook every two years to ensure security. I don't think Facebook made the policy with the intention of dishonesty, but it was unclear and needed to be changed. Once again, the only other way I think information can be kept safe is by not posting important information though.

11/9/2014
Sidney/MT
Holly
Mr. Faulhaber/Sidney High School
I believe it is your own decision to what you want private or public. If you put something on Facebook or the internet then it's going to be public if you want it to be or not. If you don't want people to get your cell phone number or address then do not put it on Facebook. I do not think Facebook's change in its privacy policy was dishonest. Facebook is just doing its job to make Facebook more appealing. I'm sure they were not trying to make it more accessible for stalkers and creeps to get information easier. The agreement with FTC is a fair compromise to aware people with their policy changes. I agree with Adam from California when he says we shouldn't be blaming Facebook. If you are on Facebook or even an website you are responsible for what you want to be known and not known.

11/9/2014
Sidney/MT
Hailey
Mr. Faulhaber/Sidney
I agree with what Adam was saying below when he said you are in control of your privacy. If you put the information on the Internet and think certain people won't see it you are crazy. They can find a way to see it even if you have a certain privacy setting on. People are very good with computers now a days and they will find a way if they want the information that bad. I think that sites can better protect our privacy by setting the privacy setting to private at first, and then let the person change it to public or private. I don't think Facebook's change in its privacy policy was dishonest because I think they were just trying to make things easier for people. I don't think that the sites have violated the Third or Fourth Amendment because I do not believe it is extended to Internet usage. In the article it says there is numerous issues with having personal information available on your profile. I believe this is the choice of the person using the website. I do believe that the FTC did make a fair compromise with Facebook by making them change the profiles to private by default and requiring the users consent before making "material retroactive changes." I do not think there should be any more measures taken to keep our information safe. If you do not want people to see your stuff then do not post it. It is that simple.

11/9/2014
Sidney, Montana
Mark
Mr.Faulhaber/Sidney High School
This question deals with people’s privacy when they are online. I do not believe that there is ways to make sites like Facebook protect our privacy. In modern times such as these, it is only a matter of how badly someone wants to view your profile because they can easily bypass the security. I think people need to understand that the Internet is not personal. Whenever we get on, we need to understand that whatever we post can be seen by anyone. Accordingly, Facebook's change in its privacy may have been dishonest because they did not publicly announce the change. However, as I am typing this I could be looking at a YouTube video on how to bypass the security settings on someone's Facebook account. I believe that the agreement between the FTC and Facebook is a fair solution for the people that were upset with Facebook changing its privacy settings. I completely agree with Ali in that the Internet is public. The only way to keep our information safe online is to not put it online.

11/8/2014
Sidney/Montana
Brady
Mr. Faulhaber/Sidney High School
First of all, I agree with Adam and personally believe that anyone who is scared of their privacy being invaded should not participate in these social networking sites. On the other hand, there are those people who do participate in these sites and want their privacy protected. Facebook, specifically, can do a better job of this by periodically sending out notifications telling its users what their privacy settings are and asking them if they want to make any changes. Also, Facebook's change in privacy policy in December of 2009 was very dishonest. They made every user’s information public by default without even asking. Fortunately, Facebook made a fair agreement with the Federal Trade Commission and changed the users' information to private by default. Another way our information could be kept safe online is through Obama's proposed "privacy bill of rights." According to whitehouse.gov, one of the focuses of this bill is that, "consumers have a right to secure and responsible handling of personal data." I believe enforcing this would be Constitutional because of the already in place Third and Fourth Amendments, which protect privacy of our home, property, and person. What one does on social networking sites falls into this protected "zone of privacy." The internet and social networking sites are only going to get bigger, and the privacy protections need to follow suit.

11/7/2014
CA
Adam
Mr. Jabro / Creekside High School
I believe you're the only person in control of your privacy, it's not as complicated as most people are making it out to be, if you don't want people to see the stuff you post or your "personal" things your post on FACEBOOK then you shouldn't be posting it at all, even it's just for your family and closest friends. Anything you post on the internet will always be there even if you deleted it, people need to think twice before putting personal info on social media. I don't think we should be blaming Facebook, we're all old enough to have Facebooks so we're all old enough to know what we should & shouldn't post about.

12/4/2013
Virginia
Kayla
Monticello High School
The information you put on the internet is from your hands and your hands only. Anything you put on the internet will be seen, even after deletion. It's important to think of the concequences of displaying your personal information. So yes, Facebook should protect your privacy, but there's ways around privacy settings. If someone wants your information, they will find it.

3/19/2013
Denver , Colorado
Geena
M. Mumby John F. Kennedy
I think Facebook and the Internet should protect their users a lot more better. But also people shouldn't put stupid stuff on the Internet. They know that once you put something on any website it will never go away. People have to be smart about what they put on the Internet and the Internet needs to protect there users more.

3/19/2013
Denver, CO
Mariah
M. Mumby John. F. Kennedy
Anything that you put on the Internet is not private. if you don't want anyone to view your stuff than don't put it on the internet., especially Facebook. But i think that Facebook should better our privacy by letting us choose whose want to share our stuff with.

3/19/2013
Denver, CO
Amanda
M. Mumby
Social Websites like Facebook should have a restriction to what is allowed to be private to the viewers not just the holder of the accounts friends and family but to everyone that has a Facebook.Personal information and photo's should be automatically be put on private. i think it is smart that Facebook has a certain regulation though, but it should still hold one's personal information held. if someones information wa sto be leaked out and their profile was set to private It should be held accountable on Facebook and the indicator should get a hold of an employer of the whole fabook company.

12/10/2012
CA
Yovana
MHS
Sites like Facebook can be more private by the way one decides to use it. The internet is like a window to the world. Only you decide what the rest of the world does or does not see. I think that a change in its private policy was dishonest.

5/11/2012
Porterville, CA
Andres
Mr.Smith/Monache
Facebook can better protect our privacy by allowing us better choices on who can view things and who can’t. Giving us more options to things private will help face book users think their safe and not being harmed using that site. I think some changes in its privacy policy was dishonest since all my friends can see what I liked or commented on even if I don’t want every one to know what I liked or commented.

4/27/2012
Porterville/CA
Mario
Smith/Monache
I do believe that facebook should have more privacy options available to users. I constantly see news castings on television regarding someone getting harmed or "cheated" (out of money in some sort of way) using the information available through facebook. There has even been stalkers and predators toward people (also stated in this article). In a way, Facebook is causing more harm towards users due to their lack of privacy.

3/30/2012
Belleville/ NY
Schuyler
Colby/BHCS
I don't believe that anyone should believe that websites like Facebook should protect our privacy. People sign up for all of these websites and expect that everything that they do will be private. People need to understand that once they post a comment or picture on Facebook that everyone could possibly see it. Companies and colleges have been cracking down on social networks and you have something bad on there they will see it no matter what your privacy settings say.

3/23/2012
Belleville, NY
Elizabeth
Miss Colby/Belleville Henderson
Nothing on the internet is private regardless of what privacy settings you use. If you want your personal information to stay private then don't put it on the internet. It's as simple as that!

3/4/2012
Baltimore/Maryland
Marcel
Jones-Prettyman/Baltimore Talent Development
Yes, I do agree that Facebook should protect your privacy more because some things are very important to people. I also disagree because it is to protect people all over so that people will not put anything bad about you on Facebook.

3/4/2012
Baltimore/Maryland
Tatyana
Jones-Prettyman/Baltimore Talent Development
I believe that social networks like Facebook should protect your privacy better just in case somebody is stalking you. They shouldn't be allowed to let you put certain things on their site.

1/25/2012
Benson, Arizona
Ryan
Sorensen, Benson high
I agree with Evan on this. if Facebook was to warn users that they might be showing something that might jeperdize their account then they should be warn about it.

1/20/2012
Benson, Arizona
Evan
Sorensen, Benson High
Facebook protects your privacy better than most proxy servers and socail networks but what people have to remember is if they are going to sigh up for it they are taking a risk by putting out their information and if its such a big problem de-activate your account or dont join. Facebook should not increase its privacy settings but instead increase awareness of its users, such as a warning before they do something that may "seem" to violate privacy. After all the internet is suppose to be free and uncensored and people need to remember that.

1/20/2012
Benson, Arizona
Evan
Sorensen, Benson High
Facebook protects your privacy better than most proxy servers and socail networks but what people have to remember is if they are going to sigh up for it they are taking a risk by putting out their information and if its such a big problem de-activate your account or dont join. Facebook should not increase its privacy settings but instead increase awareness of its users, such as a warning before they do something that may "seem" to violate privacy. After all the internet is suppose to be free and uncensored and people need to remember that.

1/20/2012
Benson, AZ
Robert D
Sorensen
Facebook isn't the place where you need to be putting your life story on it. If you dont want people talking shit about your life then don't do!

1/20/2012
Benson, AZ
Tori M.
Sorensen
Facebook isnt a place where you should be complaining about who reads your information and the things you post! If you dont want people to read and talk about your life then DONT post that CRAP!!!!

1/20/2012
Rudyard, Montana
Brandi
Mrs. Campbell/North Star
Facebook is a social network meant for people to share information. The people of Facebook are going to do whatever they can to make it what the people want. Privacy seems to be what the majority want. But what does privacy even mean anymore? If you had an actual stalker, yes Facebook would probably be the first thing they look at, but even if you had everything blocked, there are other websites that could give you more information then Facebook even has available for you to put on. If someone is an “Internet Creep” having privacy settings isn’t going to stop them. I think Facebook changing its privacy setting isn’t dishonest because it’s a website. Yes, they want to do give the people what they want, but at the same time, the Facebook people are going to do what they want. They could have no privacy settings at all and we couldn’t do anything about it. That’s why, when you first sign up you have to agreed to the Terms and Conditions. Agreeing to that and having a Facebook basically means no privacy.

1/20/2012
Benson AZ
Dustin
Sorensen
Facebook protects you as much as they can if you post things on youre page your the one not protecting yourself dont put things that you dont want the world to see

1/20/2012
Sidney MT
The Eagles
Ms. Fontana
I think social networks should better protect our privacy in a way. Alot of it is users not using the protection services that are available. If you want to be protected you do have to try yourself to keep yourself protected, its not all the job of one single person or network. Although more options should be created to keep things private or open. Its the persons choice whether they use it or not.

1/17/2012
Benson, AZ
Ashlee S.
Sorensen
I believe that Facebook does it's best to "protect" our privacy. I think that it is now the users who aren't protecting themselves. When you put things on the internet (ANYWHERE ON THE INTERNET) it can be viewed by anyone! If you don't want something to be seen on your profile, then don't write it. I am honestly so sick of hearing people complain about "everyone on Facebook knowing their life" well sorry to break it to you, but you are to blame! if you post a status it is on your friend's news feed and therefore THEY WILL READ IT, just as YOU WILL READ THEIRS. if u have an issue with that, then DELETE IT! NO ONE CARES! Facebook only allows people who have a Facebook page and are logged on to look someone up on their website. it is then UP TO YOU to decide what people who aren't your friends see when they request you as a friend, you too also decide who becomes your friend. stop being so dramatic and enjoy Facebook instead of making a big deal about something that no one cares about. Facebook is already filled with enough drama! if you have Facebook and think that they aren't "protecting" you then delete it!

1/17/2012
Benson, AZ
Emily
Mr. Sorensen
Facebook has settings that allows you block everything from people that aren't your friends. If you don't want people finding out your personal information, don't add people you don't know personally. That was a bad choice in the beginning. Or better yet just don't make a Facebook. When you start using a social networking site, your putting yourself on the line in the first place, and really the only thing they require you to have is an Email. And everyone can gain access of you Email in the first place. So get over yourself and quit worrying about stupid things.

1/13/2012
Benson/AZ
Josh M.
Sorensen/BHS
Facebook is used by over 800 million people/businesses worldwide. There is no way any company could moniter that much information and keep it safe. Hackers or people trying to obtain information are good at what they do and at times can seem unstoppable. If you are going to create a facebook you need to know the risks. Even the apps to download to facebook cleary ask you to acsess certain details of information, birthday, gender, ect.. Many parents/guardians do not alow their child to even make a facebook due to the risks of posting things on the interent or having information stolen from you. Remember once something is posted on the the internet it is never deleted. There is always someway to find somethign that has been on it, that means pictures,videos, ANYTHING. Be wary what you post because its out there and you never know who will be looking.

1/6/2012
Montgomery Tx
Taylor C.
Metzger/MHS
It does not matter how or if they modify the privacy policy on Facebook people are still going to use it. If people are afraid of private information being read by “bad” people, they probably shouldn’t have put It on their Facebook in the first place. The people who run Facebook and set and change the Facebook privacy policies are on no occasion going to be able to keep all 800 million users information safe. When you put something on the internet they are on there forever, and anyone, especially hackers, can see them to some extent. But in the end the users cannot claim that they’re rights are being denied when they put what they choose to online and those who manage the network are simply trying to find ways to make usage simpler and more convenient. Facebook provides safety and privacy features, that's all it has to do - what is put out on the web for potential usage is the risk and the decision of the citizens themselves.

1/3/2012
Irving/TX
Austin M.
Bradley/Nimitz
Technically, Facebook, and companies like, should only protect people's information to a certain extent. However, if a company is large enough/smart enough, they will want to help and protect their customers. If they don't, they will loose business. Also, the much of the amount of privacy a person on a social media site has is up to them. If you really don't want certain people on the internet to know something about you, then don't share it.

12/30/2011
Irving/TX
Caterine Cruz
Bradley/Nimitz
Facebook is not to blame, people put everything on facebook. If they don’t want other people finding out then do not put it on the website. Simple as that, many users put too much information which yes should be kept private, but the user shouldn’t be putting that in the first place. When you sign up for facebook you are held partly accountable for your actions you do on your facebook. Facebook can not be changing the privacy setting every time some one does not like the settings

12/27/2011
Irving/Texas
Jennifer N.
Bradley/Nimitz
I think Facebook can do what it wants as long as they tell us and keep us informed of what's going on. When people sign up for the site they should know what they're getting into. Those Facebook stalkers and predators won't know anything about you if you don't reveal too much information about yourself. If Facebook informs the people ahead of time about the changes, maybe the people can choose to quit Facebook or something.

12/26/2011
Irving/TX
Sherin
Bradley/Nimitz
Social networking sites such as Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, etc. must protect the privacy of the people who are using it. If information posted by the people are made public by default, then no one would have an account in social networking sites. Social networks are made for people to connect with their old friends and family, either who live far away, or those who they haven't met in years. Facebook's change in privacy settings were definitely dishonest. It just caught the people by surprise when the people found out that their personal information was being used by advertising companies. Facebook should have atleast warned the users for the change in settings. The agreement made by Facebook and Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is definitely a fair compromise, as it gives people the freedom to choose what they want as public. People should regularly read the privacy settings of social networking sites to keep up with the changes. If you want to keep your information safe, make sure that you do not give out every detail to your personal information, and also customize the settings to the people whom you would trust.

12/16/2011
Irving/Texas
Shelby P
Bradley/ Nimitz
Its not really fair to put all the blame on Facebook, when you think about it, you signed up for the site. If you don't want people knowing your business then don't sign up in the first place. Facebook's change in its private policy was to try and help people and you can't get mad because someone didn't like it. Personally everyone should have an agreement with FTC. If you want to keep your information safe online then don't put your stuff out there for people to see.

12/14/2011
Irving, TX
Joel S
Bradley/Nimitz
When one signs up for a social network like Facebook, or any other site for that matter, it is always important to realize that when one puts information on the Internet, it is their responsibility to make sure it is private. Granted Facebook should not have make things public by default, but ultimately it is the responsibility of the user. No one is forced to participate in online services, and use of these services requires responsibility and discretion.

12/14/2011
Montgomery/TX
Maria B.
metzger/MHS
I think that not just Facebook should have an agreement with FTC. I think every social network should have some kind of agreement to protect the privacy of people. More and more people are getting to experience using the internet and just like out in the world, there should be rules and regulations. People really get hurt emotionally and sometimes physically do to the internet not having regulations. I Think Facebook was dishonest to say that they were just trying to give users more control and simpler choices. The main purpose in my point of view is that they were just trying to make more money off people’s personal information. The compromise with FTC was fair; being one of the first most known social networks it has been pretty successful. Other than the privacy problems Facebook has been a great tool for the world to come together and information to be informed faster.

12/14/2011
Dallas/Texas
Lauren
Bradley/ nimitz
Facebook gives the option of setting your profile to public or private. So, it honestly is up to the person that makes their profile if the want the whole world to see all of their information. But since they are working hard to set privacy terms higher is going towards their goal. Even tweeter has a privacy or public is to show that all social networks are working to get things on private.

12/13/2011
Montgomery/Texas
Cali L.
Metzger/MHS
The fact that Facebook changed the default setting from public to private is a step in the right direction. If you are new to Facebook in the first place then you don't know exactly how everything works right at first. You wouldn't want all of your information to be public as soon as you sign up. As a Facebook user myself, I am usually not aware of the changes being made. I think that when they make a change they should email us and inform us what is going on. The agreement with the FTC will be promising to the future of Facebook. It gives the network guidelines they have to follow by them having to submit reports every other year for 20 years. This agreement will make the usage of Facebook a safer way to network with friends, family, etc. which is the way Facebook was intended to be in the first place. The biggest problem of Facebook is the privacy. Facebook needs to govern itself based on privacy laws which are already in place. If they abide by these rules then there shouldn't be a problem. There are ways on facebook to control your privacy, you just have to know how to do it.

12/13/2011
Irving/Texas
Jesse G.
Bradley/Nimitz
Facebook with their agreement with the FTC has done basically all they can by switching to having their users profiles defaults go back to private rather than public. We as people need to know that Facebook is a business that lends their services for free, and gives us a channel to express ourselves. By changing its privacy settings two years ago, and making the default as public they were just trying to increase their profitability. The way the Facebook gets their cash flow is by selling spaces on their websites for advertisements, so if these businesses can acquire important information from Facebook about their potential costumer its good for them. These businesses with the information can know how to better put their products out there and what segment of the public to show it too. Thus, this will get business to keep giving money to Facebook, because our society is always changing, and big businesses need to know how to adapt their marketing.

12/12/2011
Irving/TX
Sara
Bradley/Nimitz
Sites like Facebook or even Twitter can protect our privacy better by letting the users know all the changes they are planning on making before they do them. Allowing suggestions and comments be made about what the users think of the upcoming changes. I think them changing the privacy policy before without stressing it to the users wasn't a good idea. Making the profile settings public can make a lot easier for people to look up all your personal information. They can know who you are, where you live, your birthday, school, and anything else just by a click of a button. So that is definitely not a fair trade for the social network. The agreement with the FTC is the best decision for the network and it's users. That is the smartest idea for everyone is this arrangement. It makes it a lot safer for the users, and now our right of privacy is protected. Other ways of protection can come by limiting the personal information requirements or making the users more aware of their options.

12/11/2011
Irving/TX
Mariah B.
Bradley/Nimitz
Facebook did indeed mislead its users with the change in their privacy policy, for they did not explicitly explain what exactly was being altered. What they labeled as "new privacy settings" in 2009, actually made privacy initially non-existent on the site, and in many cases this wasn't realized until a person got a creepy friend request from someone that definitely was in no way a "mutual friend." Being a user of Facebook, I agree that there should be privacy settings, such as the ones that have been instilled now, making it so that everyone's profile is automatically private. This being said, vital information such as addresses, phone numbers, and exact whereabouts should be kept private by not even putting them up for millions and billions to see. Even if those figures are under "private," a plethora of Facebook "friends" can still see them under these loose settings. Exercising self-caution before posting obscene language or photos, addresses, and any other personal information should definitely happen.

12/11/2011
Irving, TX
Ali
Bradley/Nimitz
The internet is public—there is nothing private about it. It is nice that Facebook has privacy options available, but the point of having a Facebook is to share information. However, because Facebook does have privacy options, to go ahead and put everyone's profiles as public without notification is dishonest; people thought they were guaranteed something that was not. The agreement between the FTC and Facebook is fair so users should not have to worry about too much information being shared publicly, but information that people really want to keep private should remain off the internet entirely.

12/9/2011
Irving/Tx
India B.
Bradley/Nimitz
If you don't want your information out there, don't put it online. With that being said, yes, I think it was dishonest of Facebook not to explicitly let its users know how the policy would be changed. Once something is made public, there's no way to take it back, even if you immediately change it to private again. I think it was a gross misuse of the users' trust in the company to change this without making it well known. It's ironic that Facebook kept something of this magnitude private while opening everyone up to the public. For those of us who don't put anything online we wouldn't want all our friends to know, we have our profiles private for a reason. We'd like to keep our lives closed to strangers. As a teenage girl, I don't want all the potential internet creeps being able to see my pictures and read my posts. Privacy is important not only as a right, but also as protection.

12/7/2011
Irving, TX
Diana C.
Bradley/ Nimitz
First of all, Facebook is site where you can have no privacy at all. That is somewhat its purpose: meeting people by learning about you. If you don't want your privacy violated, don't create a Facebook. On the other hand, I think each person should decide what should be displayed on their profile and what should be private. Facebook gives option on what should one display depending on each person's decision. Facebook cannot make it any easier for us to protect our privacy. I really do not know if they made an announcement of the changes they were making in their privacy policies but I next time they should. Next time they should notify their users of any changes they make to their system. Our personal information online is never really safe because they can hack your privacy. The safest way is to NOT be so opened online.

12/6/2011
Irving/Tx
Lindsey J.
Bradley/Nimitz
I think the amount of privacy people have on the internet is ultimately their choice. Although, I do think it would be a smart idea to limit the amount they can show because some people dont realize how dangerous it is putting all of their information out there like that. In all I think it's their right to have whatever they want about themselves exploited on the internet for whoever they want to see but I do think that people need to be smart about that what they do decide to put.

12/4/2011
Irving, Tx
Jose R.
Bradley/Nimitz
The modest way to better protect the users of sites like Facebook is to automatically establish any new account or information into private. The users information like profile will remain private and the power to change it will be in their own hands. This is similar to what FTC and Facebook agreed on recently. This all has a good purpose, to better protect users privacy. Sites can also make the agreement page more accessible and let the user know that if changes are needed then where to go to make them. I believe that the change Facebook did was dishonest. I think they didn't really think it through all the way or they just don't care for their users? The agreement between FTC and Facebook is a fair compromise and is on the right track. By leaving it private by default, there will be a lesser chance of violating privacy. Other measures that should be taken are to focus more on personal information users put on their profile. Information like their phone numbers, address, even the place they live in, should be protected in greater importance. This can be by maybe requiring passwords that only the users can use to access that kind of information. I understand that its just more work to do, and some people don't want to go through all that trouble but its for the better of the users.

12/4/2011
Irving/Texas
Joan
Bradley/Nimitz
Having privacy online is definitely a must. Facebook has somehow successfully did it job protecting our privacy by making everyone's profile private by default. Sites like Facebook can also protect our privacy by ensuring everyone sees and reads a page announcing the steps to have a secured and private profile upon creating a new account. Making everyone's information public by default is indeed a dishonest action especially because no one was clearly warned. The publicity of different people's information is clearly an wise decision made by Facebook. Stalkers and predators were welcomed. Again, the fair agreement between the Federal Trade Commission and Facebook was a step into creating a safe online social network where the privacy of information was once again ensured. However, at the same time, even if more efforts were made into making sure everything is private, nothing will ever be private. What goes online stays online. Everyone just needs to be constantly reminded that the internet is not “a safe” where they can put in everything they want and that they should use extreme caution when using the internet because, again, nothing online ensures you a hundred percent privacy. To put this in a different way, online is a public network. If one wants to keep something private, don't put it online. Yes, it is as simple as that.

12/2/2011
Irving/Texas
Kirstin F.
Bradley/Nimitz
Sites could better protect our privacy by giving us the option int he process of signing up whether or not we want people to be able to view certain things. I don't think the change was dishonest because Facebook has never really given you the choice of making your profile private or not you have always had to go back after you create your profile to set it up to be private. I agree with the agreement because most people do want their profiles private and for those of you who don't then you can make the choice to change it instead of Facebook automatically choosing that everyone's profile be public.

12/2/2011
Irving/TX
Nam
Ms.Bradley/Nimitz
I believe that the best way to protect the privacy of the people, is to warn people of the dangers of the internet. I also think that changing the privacy policy without notification of the public is dishonesty because they are deceiving people into thinking that they are safe with information posted on the internet. The agreement with the FTC is somewhat fair. I think that it somewhat protects people from predators that stalk these sites. Unless people want the make their profile public.The only way I think you can keep information safe, is to not post important information online at all. Reason because the internet is never safe when it comes to privacy even when you think you are.

12/2/2011
Irving, TX
Cynthia G
Bradley/Nimitz
I believe that the way Facebook and other similar sites better protect our privacy by making everything people put up automatically private. The very first thing people should see when making profile is a page of all the privacy settings and maybe even an agreement page, in which they had to accept to. When Facebook changed their privacy setting to public by default, I think that they were being dishonest to their users because something that has personal information should automatically be private. The best thing that they did was switching back to everything being private by default, because some people do not go through the hassle of going from page to page to change their settings. The agreement that was made was a fair compromise, it makes things easier for people. Users should be aware of when a website is changing their settings and if for any chance Facebook needs to change personal settings then People should be warned a least a few weeks before the changes go into effect. I believe that if you don't want something to be known to people then you do not put it where everyone can see it. The web is not safe, and once its out there it stays out there and there is no deleting.

12/2/2011
Irving/Texas
Carmen
Bradley/Nimitz
Making people's personal information safe and private, is highly important. In my view, if someone wanted to dominate the world, all they would need to do is get a hold of every persons profile which is collected online and persuade them. To better protect people's privacy, Facebook should make it possible to hide things like your phone number and address. I don't know how many times I have actually tried to hide my number but every time I log on from my Iphone, it's put back on there. Also, they should not be able to sell our information to advertising companies. It's manipulative, and wrong. Also, if it gets into the wrong hands, its dangerous.

12/2/2011
Irving/Tx
Vanessa B.
Bradley/Nimitz.
Facebook does not give us any privacy. I do not blame Facebook for all of this because people also advertise stuff about themselves that people do not really need to know. Facebook sells what we do on there to companies. All the advertisements that are on the side of your facebook are places that bought your profiles information. Nothing is private. It does not matter what you do, you will be sold. If you do not like people selling your information then the best thing to do is just delete your profile.

12/2/2011
Irving/Tx
Rosa L
Bradley/Nimitz
The agreement with FTC is fair because it will be private, if the person wants it public then it is their choice. A way to keep ones personal information is by not giving it out in the first place. Ever since we were kids we have been informed of the dangers of "handing out" our personal information on the internet. Facebook can do everything to protect us but there are people that will always find a way around it. Facebook changing its privacy policy was not dishonest because the person should be able to see that the profile will be created on public which they can easily change.

12/1/2011
Irving, TX
Ashley Bo
Bradley/Nimitz
Websites like Facebook can better protect privacy by having privacy settings already on and letting users know about how they are able to control on their profile. Facebook and other websites should make sure users feel safe using the social networking site. The agreement with FTC was a fair compromise because Facebook's changes was deceptive. A person has to know what is going with the changes on the website by some kind of update. Currently, I thinkeverything on Facebook is protecting privacy by having almost everything have an option to be public or private. There is also a tool on their that shows how your profile is viewed from other people. When you do not like how it looks like, you can change it. I think all social networking websites should have the same tools that Facebook has to make users feel safe.

12/1/2011
Irving/TX
Fatema J
Bradley/Nimitz
Yes, it is important for the social networks sites like Facebook to protect the users' privacy. This will help ensure the users that their privacy is being protected, and not violated. Today, we see an option on Facebook called the "privacy settings" where the users' information is hidden from the public and only viewed by the actual friends. This settings ought to be used by the users so that they wouldn't later complain about their privacy not being protected from the public.

11/30/2011
Irving/TX
Angelica R
Bradley/ Nimitz
I think that Facebook could better protect our privacy by making sure the user knows what they are able to control on their profile and what they can't. If they did that then it would be up to the user on what they want people to know, but if the users don't want people to see something they are trying to hide, why post it in the first place. I also think that peoples profile's shouldn't have been open by default. Facebook has a lot of followers and dishonesty like that could decrease those numbers. The FTC is a fair compromise because if Facebook was dishonest once before how do we know they will not be again. There should be a message of some sort letting a user know what changes have been made to the website, so they can be better informed.

11/30/2011
Irving/TX
Luz V.
Bradley/Nimitz
Privacy on the internet is a very important thing to maintain, but the information that is put out there for potential wrongdoers is set by the people who use sites like Facebook, not those who manage the site. Yes, the person in charge of Facebook should take on the responsibility of making sure that users feel secure using the site - and I think that the compromise with the FTC does enable that. Setting profiles to private and submitting reports will benefit the user/provider relatonship. But in the end the users cannot claim that theyre rights are being denied when they put what they choose to online and those who manage the network are simply trying to find ways to make usage simpler and more convenient. Facebook provides safety and privacy features, that's all it has to do - what is put out on the web for potential usage is the risk and the decision of the citizens themselves.

11/29/2011
Irving/Texas
Marcus A.
Helen Bradley/Nimitz High School
You don't need to have a Facebook to understand the importance of privacy. Nobody is interested in knowing that you are excited to see the latest movie with your friends or that you are bored out of your mind in math class. Yet, Facebook has become the premise of delineating every aspect of our everyday lives. So to protect our privacy online, popular websites should ask permission as to whether we want our information publicized. Sites should also automatically set our posts, pictures, blogs – anything – to private-mode so that only our ostensibly “real” friends can view them. However, Facebook's alterations in private policy a few months ago blew everyone out of the water, for we had no idea our contact information was being sent out to the public without our awareness. And the fact that our personal tastes led to personal ads was not endearing in the least. Consequently, the agreement with the FTC to stretch the Third and Fourth Amendments to the Internet world is a fair compromise. Hackers and stalkers now have to really dig their way through our profiles to get the juicy information that they want. But keeping our virtual (and our professional lives) intact does not mean we solely focus on the Internet intruders. We, as growing website users, must do our part by remaining conscience of what we publicize. Further measures to protecting our self-integrity include accepting friend requests from people we really know, prohibiting pictures that demean our self-image, and simply laying off the computer for a while. There is more to life than following our best friend's tweet or reading everybody's daily posts and sighing at your own boring day. If we just wait for all the website bugs to die out, choose to instead hang out with our friends and family in real life, and focus on building successful careers, the world would be a better place. Put that on your Facebook.

11/18/2011
Rudyard, MT
Shelby L.
Mrs. Campbell
It doesn't matter how or if they change the privacy policy on Facebook people are still going to use it. If people are afraid of private information being read by “bad” people, they probably shouldn’t have put I ton their Facebook in the first place. The people who run Facebook and set and change the Facebook privacy policies are never going to be able to keep all 800 million users information safe. When you put something on the internet they are on there forever and anyone, especially hackers, can see them to some extent. Another problem the Facebook privacy policy has is the users never know when they have updated their policy. They should let all users know when they have made a change because the change may have turned off or altered their previous privacy policy. But to be safe don’t put anything on Facebook or the internet that you don’t want people to know or have.

11/18/2011
Benson, Arizona
Leigha
Mr. Sorenson
I've found that when facebook does updates to their website it resets you privacy setting to where everyone can see them. I find this very bad. I believe you shouldnt put anything online that you dont want seen, but what about your home town and high school. That's a great way to have those creapers find you. I think that they should make it so that personal info only shows to the peoples network friends for everyone.

11/18/2011
Benson/AZ
Jacob
Mr. Sorenson
Facebook provides enough protection of personal information to satisfy any reasonable person. If a person were to desire more privacy they could simply change the privacy settings or not use Facebook. It is a free choice to use Facebook, it is not required.

11/18/2011
benson, az
joseph
mr. sorenson
well yes i could understand how you could be worried about personal information. but if you can't just go to your personal information and make it so people can't see your information, then you have alot of problems. yes there is the thing that you could lose alot of personal info but then dont put embarassing things out there.

11/18/2011
benson,arizona
nathan
sorenson/benson high schoool
i think they should do more to protect our privacy because we say personal things on these social networks an we don't want random people knowing pur personal life

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