The current set of social networking platforms, e.g. Facebook and MySpace, has created a new class of Internet applications called social software. These systems focus on leveraging the real life relationships of people and augment them with the facilities and the richness of the Web. The large number of social applications and the even larger user populations of these social networks are proving that this new class of software is useful and complements modern life. However, social platforms and software are not without drawbacks and significant concerns. One of the most important considerations is the need to allow strong security and privacy protections. In addition, these protections need to be easy to use and apply uniformly across platforms and applications. While most of the leading social platforms have primitives for providing privacy in the platform and the applications, we argue that they are insufficient. In particular, the privacy primitives lack ease of use, are too plentiful, do not fully apply to third party applications, and do not take full advantage of the social graphs that users implicitly build on these platforms. This paper provides a first step in resolving these issues.
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