Scary: Facebook Privacy, Then and Now

Facebook are planning to rule the world, and with almost 500 million unique visitors a month, they are heading in the right direction. In January facebook surpassed Yahoo! as the #2 site in the US, with over 133 million unique visitors. In terms of attention (time spent on site as a percentage of all time spent online), is leading the pack, more than Google+Yahoo! combined.

Matt McKeon (IBM Research Center for Social Software) created an amazing infograph, illustrating how our personal information has been exposed to more and more people due to the changed Privacy Policy over the last 5 years. The original animation (plus methodology) is available here, also posted at All Facebook and [Hebrew]. To make things simple, I modified the original, showing the beginning (2005) and present time (April 2010). Over those 5 years there were 6 changes to facebook’s privacy policy, half of them (3) made in the last 8 months (!) – as seen in the original infograph, at the bottom of this post.

Facebook privacy settings, 2005 vs 2010

Facebook's default privacy settings, 2005 vs 2010

If you’re still on facebook using the default settings, now is the time to make a change. Here are couple of guides:

FastCompany (April 2010) –Time to audit your facebook privacy settings (Dec 2009) – 10 new privacy settings every user should know (May 2010, Hebrew) – 8 tips for keeping your facebook information private

Original infograph:

Facebook's privacy settings

Mobile & Media Consultant. I help startup companies launch products to the consumer market. Reach out: dvir.reznik [at]



This is my personal blog. The postings here do not represent the thoughts, intentions, plans or strategies of my past employers or of my clients. It is solely my opinion.