MySpace promises users simpler privacy settings

Company plans to release a simplified version of its settings that promise to make it easier to make personal information private.

Josh Lowensohn Former Senior Writer
Josh Lowensohn joined CNET in 2006 and now covers Apple. Before that, Josh wrote about everything from new Web start-ups, to remote-controlled robots that watch your house. Prior to joining CNET, Josh covered breaking video game news, as well as reviewing game software. His current console favorite is the Xbox 360.
Josh Lowensohn
2 min read

In a letter to users, MySpace's co-president Mike Jones on Monday outlined the company's stance on privacy and its place within social networking, as well as detailing what he calls a "simplified" version of the social network's privacy settings that will roll out to users in the next few weeks.

The announcement comes just three weeks after Facebook's F8 conference, where Facebook introduced, and immediately implemented new privacy settings that have drawn user and media ire for making profile information too public. Facebook's new system has also drawn criticism for being overly complex.

Jones said the new system will continue to give users the same three tiers of privacy for each aspect of their profiles that they have right now (public, friends only, and public to users over the age of 18). The key difference from Facebook's approach, however, is that the toggle to change all the settings will be contained in one switch. Jones also said that users who are currently using the "friends only" option will keep their settings without having to opt in or out of anything.

"While MySpace at its core is about discovery, self expression and sharing, we understand people might want the option of limiting the sharing of their information to a select group of friends," Jones said. "We respect our users' desires to balance sharing and privacy, and never push our users to an uncomfortable privacy position."

Jones went on to say that the the company's goal has remained the same throughout its existence, and that users shouldn't worry about changes in privacy affecting information or content they've uploaded to MySpace. "MySpace's core value of allowing self-expression and representation of yourself remains true, without the fear that your unique contribution to MySpace will be unknowingly used for an alternative purpose," Jones said.