60% of Facebook members consider quitting over privacy, Sophos reports
May 2010 by Sophos
A poll of 1588 Facebook users conducted by Sophos has revealed the extent of member concerns over the popular social network’s privacy settings. The online survey shows that almost two thirds of Facebook users are considering leaving, with 16% of those polled claiming to have already stopped using Facebook as a result of inadequate control over their data.
The poll asked Facebook users: Do you think you will quit Facebook over privacy concerns?:
Possibly: 484 - 30%
Highly likely: 469 - 30%
Already have: 254 - 16%
No: 191 - 12%
Don’t think likely: 190 - 12%
Total Facebook users polled: 1588
Facebook has faced growing criticism over changes to the way that the social network can share user data across its site and with other websites. Concerns have centred on the complexity and ’opt-out’ approach to sharing member information with wider networks. Media reports suggest that Facebook is planning to announce changes to its privacy settings within the next few days, but it is unclear as to whether any changes will be substantial enough to address user concerns.
"This poll shows that the majority of users are fed up with the lack of control that Facebook gives users over their data," said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos. "Most still don’t know how to set their Facebook privacy options safely, finding the whole system confusing. What’s needed is a fundamental shift towards asking users to ’opt-in’ to sharing information, rather than to ’opt-out’."