Facebook Promises "Simplistic" Privacy ChoicesS

Facebook seems to know they've stepped over a line—first came the internal privacy powows and second-guesses. Now Facebook's public policy honcho says that the site will be introducing "simplistic" privacy choices. Oh good! Now what's that mean, exactly?

The short answer is, we don't know. Facebook's Tim Sparapani made the pledge yesterday on Kojo Nnamdi's public radio show, but didn't provide any sort of significant detail:

"We are going to be providing options for users who want simplistic bands of privacy that they can choose from and I think we will see that in the next couple of weeks."

So it sounds as though a user will be able to indicate a general degree of privacy they'd be happy with instead of mucking about with the 170+ privacy options that make it incredibly difficult to know who can access your information, and how much.

That seems like a fine start, but it also could create even more problems for those who want to keep some information (photos, employment) private but don't mind sharing other (relationship, interests) details.

And it also doesn't really address the root of the problem: currently, Facebook's privacy policy requires you almost exclusively to opt out of sharing information. Unless the "simplistic" choice defaults to keeping your personal life personal, it's still too complicated. [Wired]