Everyone's #1 addiction social networking site, Facebook, has been getting some bad press thanks to its new privacy settings. The site recently rolled out "social plug-ins" and "instant personalization," which enable users to share information like which websites they've visited or articles they've commented on—even if they don't want to. Everyone's profile would be automatically set to share this information, and users would need to opt-out through their privacy settings. Sen. Charles Schumer and three other senators are now calling for Facebook to make it easier for users to protect their privacy, saying, "They have sort of assumed all their users want their information to be given far and wide, which is a false assumption."

Schumer and Senators Michael Bennet, Mark Begich and Al Franken wrote in a letter to Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg [PDF] that users should have an "opt-in" option rather than having their information automatically shared with outside sites, saying "These personal details should remain private unless a user decides that he/she would like to make a connection and share this information with a community."

Facebook has already made a deal with Yelp, Pandora and Windows Docs to let them use individuals' Facebook info to recommend bands or goods the user may be interested in, and have opted-in their 400 million users to the instant personalization program. Facebook vice president Elliot Schrage wrote to Schumer, "We welcome a continued dialogue with you and others because we agree that scrutiny over the handling of personal data is needed as Internet users seek a more social and interactive experience."

Currently under Facebook's Privacy Policy, there is little language suggesting users are automatically protected from unwanted connections. Facebook advises not uploading a profile picture if you don't want someone to see it, and reminds users that "none of this information is required except for your email address," suggesting that any posted information is automatically approved for public consumption. For anyone who doesn't want Facebook eyeing their every move, Gadgetwise has this handy guide for opting-out of the social plug-ins.