Facebook Privacy Changes Could Come Next Week

Facebook may update its privacy settings as early as next week to ease user concerns. Earlier this week, Facebook public policy director Tim Sparapani said users want "simplistic bands of privacy that they can choose from."

Facebook may change its policy settings as early as next week, but whether that will tame user backlash remains to be seen.

In a radio interview this week, Facebook Director of Public Policy Tim Sparapani said the company planned to simplify Facebook's privacy settings due to ongoing controversy. It's not clear yet how Facebook will change the settings.

Reports are surfacing the changes Facebook is planning could be implemented as early as next week.

"Users appreciate having precise and comprehensive controls, but want them to be simpler and easier to use," Facebook spokesman Andrew Noyes said. "They also like the new programs we have rolled out, but want simple and easy ways to opt out of sharing personal information with applications and Websites through [the] Facebook Platform. We're listening to this input and incorporating it into innovations we hope to announce shortly."

MySpace recently announced privacy changes of its own May 17. Under their new policy, MySpace users could make information available either to friends only, everyone on MySpace or anyone 18 or older.

Facebook has faced criticism from politicians as well as calls for the Federal Trade Commission to step in to protect user privacy. Despite this, the company has stood by its "instant personalization" feature - which kicked off the latest round of controversy a few weeks ago ago - and recently instituted some new security controls recently to help prevent suspicious logins.

"We've spent the last couple of weeks listening to users and consulting with experts in California, Washington, D.C., and around the world," Noyes said. "We know Facebook is well known for its innovations around sharing and we want to be equally known for innovations around user control. The messages we've received are pretty clear."