Al Franken Teaches You About Critical Facebook Privacy Settings

Al Franken, hater of Facebook’s cavalier approach to privacy, has posted instructions for how to keep Facebook from disclosing your personal information to their “partners.” Guess what? It’s kinda hard! No, really, there’s more to it than you might expect.

Here are the instructions. We added some images just to help out, but otherwise it’s all Franken’s office:

Recent changes by Facebook fundamentally change the relationship between the user and the social networking site. Previously, users had the ability to determine what information they chose to share and what information they wanted to keep private. Recent policy changes are altering that relationship and there is little guidance on what social networking sites can and cannot do and what disclosures are necessary to users.
Basically, Facebook now shares your personal information with third parties (Microsoft, Yelp, and Pandora so far) automatically. If you don’t want Facebook to share your information you need to opt-out of the “Instant Personalization Program”

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You can complete the whole process in a few minutes using the links below and your browser’s ‘back’ button. Here is how:

  1. First, log into Facebook in a new window or tab.
  2. Next, go to the “Instant Personalization” page (under Account/Privacy Settings/Applications and Websites) and uncheck the “allow” box. 
  3. To prevent the third parties from accessing your information through your friends who have not opted out, you need to visit Pandora, Microsoft, and Yelp and click on the “Block Application” link in the upper left corner of the page.
  4. Finally, check Facebook’s “Help Center” frequently to see an up-to-date list of applications that need to be individually blocked to maintain your privacy.

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