Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg called a high-profile press conference Wednesday to unveil major changes to the massive social network's much-maligned member privacy controls.
But Facebook certainly wasn't the only tech company whose business practices were called into question this week: The feds are looking into Apple's hold on digital music. And politicians are pressing Google about data collection practices related to its Street View service.
Dominating the news, however, was arguably the Facebook about-face. The centerpiece of the new, simpler privacy controls include a single page for setting Facebook information visible to just friends, friends of friends, or the Web at large. It sliced the number of settings from 50 to about 15 and consolidating seven pages of choices into three pages. A post on the Facebook blog details the changes in full or see our instructions on changing your settings.
The new controls, which Zuckerberg said will be rolling out "over the next few days or weeks" might quell some of the fears members have had about how the company handles the vast amount of personal data stored on its servers.
But Facebook's sharpest critics say the they don't go far enough. The activist privacy groups maintain that the standard is "opt-in," instead of "opt-out" and argue that more regulation is necessary.
• One-on-one with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg
• Why you shouldn't believe 'Facebook backlash' numbers
• What Facebook does when something's rotten
Government wants to know what role Apple played when Amazon stopped offering discounted music prices.
• With iTunes, Apple has thrown weight around
• Has the 8GB iPhone 3G been discontinued?
• Steve Jobs to keynote WWDC 2010
• May AT&T leaks bring June iPhones
Politicians press Google on Street View Wi-Fi flap
Three influential House members ask Google to answer detailed questions about Street View and data collection practices by June 7.
• Google skips German deadline for Wi-Fi data
• Google, come clean on Wi-Fi spying
Making sense of Microsoft's reorg
Although Redmond frequently shuffles its executive ranks, Tuesday's departure of Robbie Bach and J. Allard is a big deal. CNET's Ina Fried takes a look at the implications and fallout.
• Microsoft shakes up entertainment unit; Bach out • Apple passes Microsoft in valuation • Microsoft Hohm scores home energy efficiency
Congress rebukes FCC on Net neutrality rules
After 111 members of Congress tell FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski to back off, new Net neutrality regulations are looking a lot less likely.
• Rethinking the wireless spectrum crisis • Democrats' split over Net neutrality widens
FCC takes aim at the wireless industry
The FCC is digging into those pesky overage charges that keep showing up on phone bills, putting wireless companies on the defensive.
• FCC says consumers are 'bill shocked' • T-Mobile USA upgrades more cities to faster 3G • AT&T offers free Wi-Fi in New York City
Firms tackle virus-laden Web sites, ads
As more users get hit by "drive-by downloads" and "malvertising," companies like Armorize and Dasient offer services to help keep surfers safe.
As investors wonder if Yahoo's stock is ever going to take off, CEO Carol Bartz tries to reassure them Wednesday that the company is focused and improving.
• Yahoo buys mobile social network provider Koprol
• Yahoo tries to find a place on the map
Mozilla eyes VP8
for HTML5 video
Google's video codec, part of the WebM project, has its share of support, but building it into the standard language for Web pages would be a big boost.
• FAQ: WebM and Google's Web-video plan
Lime Wire scrambles to save itself
File-sharing service asks court to reconsider decision and appeals to labels to cut a deal. But is it too little, too late?
iRobot says its Seaglider, an unmanned underwater vehicle, will be used to track the presence of oil droplets from the BP oil spill in the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico.
• Less toxic oil dispersants sought for Gulf spill
• Photos: In the Gulf, struggling with the oil disaster
Also of note
• Scientist infects himself with computer virus
• Apple, Dell, HP looking into Foxconn factory suicides
• Google's primer on how it helps the economy
• Q&A: The man behind World of Warcraft magazine