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East Coast Cell Coverage Has Problems, Facebook Has New Privacy Controls

Ryan Calo, CIS Director of Privacy and Robotics, is featured in this Marketplace article by John Moe in which he discusses Facebook’s new privacy controls and explains why he believes people will find the new features “much easier to control.”

Yesterday's 5.9 magnitude earthquake on the East Coast led to a lot of people jumping on cell phones to check in with family and friends. The networks couldn't handle the traffic. And Facebook is making it easier to control what the world sees about you. As unpredictable as the quake was, the collapse of cell coverage was completely predictable. A whole lot of people fired up their phones and hopped on Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile or Sprint, some of them doing so before the ground was even done shaking. But a lot of those calls didn't go through. The system couldn't handle the volume. Spokespeople for AT&T and T-Mobile were quoted in the New York Times as saying that there didn't appear to be any damage to towers but there was just a lot of traffic coming across the networks. ... Ryan Calo is the director of the Consumer Privacy Project at Stanford's Center for Internet and Society. As for the Facebook experience, he says, "I think it changes it a lot. People are really going to finally get some much better and easier control. One of things I really like, for instance, and this is an old feature, but surfaced -- is the See Profile As feature. Once upon a time you had to log out to see what people could see on your profile. Or you had to click around to find this feature. Now, just on your home page, you can see what your profile looks like to others. If you're worried about a job interview, or date, you can see what people see on your profile and know that you're safe or not."