Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Privacy Tweaking

I went to the first Tech Policy Summit of the year on Tuesday, a talk about privacy sponsored by Facebook. The speakers were my supervisor Jim Dempsey of CDT, Chris Hoofnagle of the Berkeley Law and Technology Center, and Chris Kelly, CPO of Facebook.

I was especially interested when Kelly talked about how many users tweak their privacy settings. I think Facebook's privacy settings are fantastic, very finely grained; they should be market. But I'm not exactly the average user, so I've often wondered if other people utilize it.

Kelly reported that they'd run a survey and found that about 25-30% of the general population tweaks their settings. Interestingly, he noted that approximately 60% of teen users change their settings! (I direct a stern look towards those claiming young people don't care about privacy.) Is it perhaps because teens are more savvy?

In attendance was California PUC Commissioner Rachelle Chong, who offered this with a shrug: "They change their privacy settings to avoid their parents."

Of course.

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