Facebook facing lawsuit after privacy complaints - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Facebook facing lawsuit after privacy complaints

COLUMBUS, GA - Millions of people across the world log onto Facebook every day, and the latest changes to the popular social networking site has some people even more concerned about security.

Most people don't think much about logging on to Facebook every day to share things with friends, look at pictures, or just kill some time.

Facebook is currently facing a civil lawsuit from a group of users, and now members of Congress are complaining over privacy issues.  The entire buzz about Facebook's privacy issues has some people in Columbus like Carlos Salgado and Jasmin Grier concerned.

"It's kind of like the government is watching my back, but instead, it is Facebook," said Salgado.

"To me it's saying that you want somebody to know where you are or to know your business," said Grier.

Even though Facebook says it has fixed the problem, people are still worried after reports that the social networking website could track users' web activity even after people have logged out of the site.  Lucas Shaffer, a local expert in social media, explains your safety is all about education.

"You need to know what you're capable of.  How people can find you, and also how to turn these things off," said Shaffer.

Shaffer, with Stand and Stretch, Social Media Professionals in Columbus, says it is normal for sites like Facebook to personalize your page by using your computers' cookies, or web history.

"That allows other websites to use those sessions to be able to login to say, ‘Ok, if this profile is public, I can know that Lucas Shaffer likes to go running.'"

While he explains it is mainly about advertising, you can help protect yourself by changing your settings to private.  Shaffer also says you need to regulate your web browser's privacy settings because you might forget to log out of Facebook when you go to another page.

"You'll want to turn some of these off especially maybe the cookies settings, having cookies to browsers, and expiration dates on cookies," explained the social media expert.

However, he says you are the one with the power not the websites.

"You are in control of these spaces, and you need to make sure that you are protecting yourself."

Some members of Congress are asking that the Federal Trade Commission investigate Facebook's privacy issues.

Copyright 2011 WTVM. All rights reserved.

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