Facebook introduced its latest set of privacy settings changes today to appease disgruntled users who have been somewhere within the range of mildly irritated to outraged over the previous incarnation. The company is getting numerous pats on the back, or at least "that’s more like it" responses from people for the most part.

Do you like the latest approach Facebook is taking to privacy? Tell us what you think.

While the settings do address the main concerns that have been so widely discussed and publicized since the launch of Facebook’s Open Graph/instant personalization initiative, no privacy settings are truly going protect people’s privacy on Facebook – and that’s not Facebook’s fault. I would blame a combination of human nature and technology.

Look how easy it is for someone to whip out a camera, take you picture, and post it to Facebook. You didn't have an account? That doesn't mean you have privacy on Facebook.
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If you’re worried about privacy and how it is related to Facebook, it really doesn’t matter how many times Facebook adjusts its privacy settings. The fact of the matter is that there is no more privacy, unless you don’t interact with people whatsoever. This applies whether you have a Facebook account or not. That really makes no difference if someone whips out their phone and takes a picture of you. With most modern phones, all they have to do is tap a button to send it right to Facebook for all of their friends to see. Did you say or do something embarrassing at a party? Witnesses can easily become instant broadcasters, and there’s a good chance that some of their Facebook friends know you. 

Did you casually mention something to a friend? Anything? They may mention it in a status update and instantly let all of their friends know about it. Whether or not they did this with any malicious intent is irrelevant. It happens. Human contact in general should be considered non-private. If you say or do anything that you truly want kept private, you better keep it to yourself or let people know you don’t want others to know about it (and hope that they care).

Facebook is really just an extension of the web itself, when it comes to privacy. The same rules apply to YouTube, MySpace, Twitter, blogs, or any other platforms where users can communicate to the public (or even to a closed network).

The privacy issues that exist now have existed the entire time the web has been around. It’s only the pace of sharing, which has accelerated. Years ago, someone could have easily created a website about you if they knew how to create a website at all. Status updates and blog posts are just easier. Smartphones make them almost like a reflex for some people – and the smartphone market continues to grow rapidly.

Mark Zuckerberg has taken a lot of flack over the privacy concerns that have arisen around Facebook of late, as well as his own stance on privacy in general, but no matter how much Facebook or any other social networking entity on the web tweaks its privacy, your privacy will never truly be ensured – unless you hide from society completely.

There are pros and cons to the manner in which technology evolves (and continues to do so). Regardless of your stance on privacy, it’s pretty clear that things aren’t going to be slowing down anytime soon, and a decreased sense of privacy is simply a side effect.

Who’s getting excited about Facebook readying location features? 

If you have anything to contribute to this conversation, please do so in the comments.

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