Experts positive on Facebook's new privacy controls

Privacy advocates and security experts have given Facebook a preliminary thumbs-up on the upcoming changes designed to improve privacy controls on its site.

The changes, which will be rolled out over the coming weeks, are steps in the right direction toward making it easier for users to understand who will be able to view the status updates, photos, videos and other content they post on the site, the experts said. They also welcomed the increased controls that users will have over content they're tagged in.

However, they cautioned that since the changes aren't yet available, it remains to be seen whether they will be a hit or disappointment with most users.

"It seems to reflect some of what people have been asking for. The issues of privacy and of control over your data are a growing concern and consumers are paying more attention to them," said Marian Merritt, Internet safety advocate with Symantec's Norton unit.

"However, the changes haven't been rolled out yet, so I don't know how hard they will be to configure. I'm pleased, but until I can start using them it's all conjecture," she said.

Sean Sullivan, security advisor at F-Secure, sounded a similar note, saying the plans seem promising, but that changes to Facebook sometimes complicate matters instead of simplifying them.