I was reading this on ReadWriteWeb and got quite a shock, Facebook was forcing user to expose all of their private data to the world ! I especially refer to this part:
The question was referencing the changes Facebook underwent last month. Your name, profile picture, gender, current city, networks, Friends List, and all the pages you subscribe to are now publicly available information on Facebook. This means everyone on the web can see it; it is searchable.
Now if you follow the link in the middle over to a previous article from the same ReadWriteWeb, you will see a somewhat different story. There it explains that this is still a user choice and that nothing is imposed ! Quoting the updated content:
Update: Some users are saying that their default options are in fact on “old settings” and not “everyone.” We’re hearing that “old settings” as private is the default for users who have ever changed their privacy settings and set them to private. People who have not changed their settings ever or who have set them to public already, will be defaulted to public.
Well… While I agree that this is probably not the nicest change that Facebook has introduced (NB: I am in total opposition with the view of Mr Zuckerberg, I believe that the respect of privacy is getting more and more rather than less and less important in a world where everything becomes permanent and traces left behind people become impossible to delete or correct) it is still a storm in a tea-cup. Facebook is not forcing anything on anyone as users can still change their settings. I also agree that it would be nice to see them push for more privacy and not for less, but I for one can hardly blame them for trying to make money out of a software that most people appreciate and get for free.
If I have mis-understood or mis-quoted anything, I apologize for this.