The Ottumwa Courier

Community News Network

October 17, 2013

Facebook eases teens' privacy policies

Facebook relaxed its privacy policies for teenagers on its network Wednesday, allowing underage users to share more information with the general public.

Facebook had previously prevented users between ages 13 and 17 from sharing information outside their extended network — their friends or friends of friends. That restriction is now being lifted.

Under the new policy, when teens join the site, they will automatically have stronger privacy protections, and the information they post will be visible only to their friends. But they will also have the flexibility to change those settings and share their posts with a general Internet audience.

In a blog post, Facebook said the changes will give teens more control over what information they share with the public.

But privacy groups said Facebook has failed to address complaints that it hasn't adequately protected its youngest users. Facebook is addressing what teens "choose to share consciously, not the under-the-hood forms of [data] collection that the site enables and [has] increasingly become more sophisticated," said Kathryn Montgomery, a privacy advocate and communications professor at American University.

Facebook did not disclose how many of its more than 1 billion users are teenagers and would fall under the new policy, but the Pew Internet and American Life has estimated that 94 percent of teens who use social networks have Facebook accounts. Under Facebook's policies, underage users agree that their parents have given them permission to use the site, but the site does not require certification.

Facebook said that allowing teens to share more with the general public brings the site's policies in line with competitors, including Twitter. Teens can already use other platforms to publicly weigh in on current events, the company said. But before the change, celebrity teens, for example, had to create separate fan pages to promote their movies or music to a wide audience.

Text Only
Community News Network
  • Smartphone kill switches are coming

    Smartphones need kill switches. It's a relatively easy solution to the pricey (and irritating) problem of smartphone theft. But who would have thought that the big carriers would team up with Apple, Google, Microsoft, Nokia, Samsung and lots of other manufacturers to voluntarily begin adding the technology by July 2015? The cooperative spirit! It makes so much sense!

    April 18, 2014

  • Why do wolves howl?

    Of all the myths that dog the wolf, none is more widely accepted than the idea that wolves howl at the moon. Images of wolves with their heads upturned, singing at the night sky, are as unquestioned as a goldfish's three-second memory or a dog's color-blindness (both also myths).

    April 18, 2014

  • Biggest student loan profits come from grad students

    This week, the Congressional Budget Office projected that the federal government would earn roughly $127 billion from student lending during the next 10 years.

    April 18, 2014

  • quake.jpg Pennsylvania won’t take action following Ohio ruling on quakes, fracking

    Pennsylvania officials plan no action despite new Ohio rules on drilling that affect a seismically active area near the state line.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • VIDEO: Boston bomb scare defendant appears in court

    The man accused of carrying a backpack containing a rice cooker near the Boston Marathon finish line on the anniversary of the bombings was arraigned Wednesday. He's being held on $100,000 bail.

    April 17, 2014

  • The case for separate beds

    The other night I slept on a twin bed in the guest room of the house I share with my husband and our two kids.
    It was the best night's sleep I've had in years.

    April 17, 2014

  • Raw oysters spike U.S. rise in bacterial infections, CDC reports

    Raw oysters, so good with hot sauce, increasingly can carry something even more unsettling to the stomach: A bacteria linked to vomiting, diarrhea and pain.

    April 17, 2014

  • To sleep well, you may need to adjust what you eat and when

    Sleep.  Oh, to sleep.  A good night's sleep is often a struggle for more than half of American adults.  And for occasional insomnia, there are good reasons to avoid using medications, whether over-the-counter or prescription.

    April 16, 2014

  • Doctors to rate cost effectiveness of expensive cancer drugs

    The world's largest organization of cancer doctors plans to rate the cost effectiveness of expensive oncology drugs, and will urge physicians to use the ratings to discuss the costs with their patients.

    April 16, 2014

  • Low blood-sugar levels make for grousing spouses

    Husbands and wives reported being most unhappy with their spouses when their blood-sugar levels were lowest, usually at night, according to research released this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Missing a meal, dieting or just being hungry may be the reason, researchers said.

    April 16, 2014

Obituaries
Record
Facebook
AP National