Facebook Upgrades Privacy Controls Following User Backlash

Fast-growing U.S. social network Web site Facebook said Friday it has adopted new privacy controls following an unprecedented online backlash over a new feature that let users track their friends online.

Facebook, which has about 9.5 million members comprised mostly of students, said it now will let users control what and how much information is shared about their activities on the network.

Earlier this week, the site introduced new features called "News Feed" and "Mini-Feed" that instantly notified users of their friends' activities on the network, including who they contacted and how they changed their profiles, which ignited a protest backed by more than 600,000 members.

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"These additional privacy features put control of who sees what information in News Feed and Mini-Feed directly in the hands of our users, just as they requested," Mark Zuckerberg, founder and chief executive of Facebook, said in a statement.

The new privacy controls now let users block information on the News Feed and Mini-Feed features, as well as a setting to remove the time-stamp of postings.

Facebook, the No. 2 social network behind News Corp.'s MySpace.com, had been lauded for its privacy protections until the new features were announced.

FOXNews.com and MySpace.com are both owned and operated by News Corporation.