Facebook admits privacy change 'missed the mark'

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Facebook admits privacy change 'missed the mark'

Mark Zuckerberg promises new settings soon.

Facebook has admitted that it "missed the mark" with its changes in privacy settings made in December, and has promised a new privacy policy "as soon as possible".

Facebook co-founder and chief executive Mark Zuckerberg has expanded on statements made on Friday in a new column for The Washington Post, saying that users will be offered simpler privacy controls to give them more control over their information.

The changes introduced at the end of last year allow users to control who sees each individual piece of content they upload.

The previous policy had only allowed users to create block settings. For example, a user could create a list of contacts who would not be able to see all of their wall content.

Facebook now has 50 privacy settings and 170 privacy options, and the company has acknowledged that they can be confusing for users. Facebook has said it will revert to its previous policy of offering fewer but more extensive settings.

"Simply put, many of you thought our controls were too complex," said Zuckerberg.

"Our intention was to give you lots of granular controls, but that may not have been what many of you wanted. We just missed the mark."

Zuckerberg also said that Facebook will soon allow users to turn off all third-party services, and admitted that the social network had found it a challenge to satisfy its huge user base and cope with the ever-changing social web.

"Sometimes we move too fast and, after listening to recent concerns, we're responding," he said.

Facebook has faced increasing complaints from the US and Europe in recent weeks about its lack of privacy.

The official European Union data protection agency wrote an open letter to Facebook describing changes to its privacy settings made in December as "unacceptable".

And in January, 10 privacy groups, including the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the American Civil Liberties Union and EPIC, filed a complaint with the US Federal Trade Commission about Facebook's privacy policy.

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