Facebook Changes its Privacy Policy…Again

Facebook is changing its privacy settings yet again. I’m mostly happy about these privacy setting changes, however. For users unfamiliar with how to manage their privacy settings, they have now become much more user friendly and transparent with an entire menu across the navigation bar devoted to it.

This menu is fairly straightforward with three privacy shortcuts: “Who can see my stuff?” “Who can contact me?” and “How do I stop someone from bothering me?” In addition, Facebook is implementing an updated “Activity Log” page that allows users to untag multiple photos of themselves at once and more easily ask other Facebook users to remove unwanted content. In addition, when using an application, the message that displays when you decide to add the application is more transparent. Instead of asking for your “Basic Info,” it now details the information it’s actually retrieving: full name, profile picture, age, gender, language, country, and email address.

However, with all these new additions, Facebook is taking away the ability to remove yourself from Facebook people searches. This means that anyone will be able to search for your profile even if they’re not within in your network, geographical area, or friends with one of your friends. A member of the Facebook privacy team explains, “Our concern, quite frankly, is that people think it provides a level of security, but it actually doesn’t.” Instead, Facebook is trying to shift the responsibility of protecting your profile from others by modifying your privacy settings to change what information is publicly available. However, there is no way to hide your name, your profile picture, and cover photo.

Users need to take into account that anyone can access these three pieces of information and carefully consider their profile picture or cover photo before posting them because there’s no way to remain anonymous to searches now.

These changes are already in effect for some users and will gradually change over the next month.

Source: http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-205_162-57558836/facebook-privacy-settings-change-again/

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4 Responses to Facebook Changes its Privacy Policy…Again

  1. blevz says:

    It will be interesting to see the future relationship between google and facebook. As facebook slowly makes profile information more accessible, it will be easier for google to crawl through the information. Given this new offering of personal details, how will google use it. Will it attempt to link your facebook to your google browsing and search history? Will it a faster and simpler way to find people on facebook through keyword searches in addition to names?
    Facebook has normally used an opt-out policy in terms of making your data public. This has obviously ruffled feathers with its user base but has yet to prompt a severe backlash. It will be interesting to see if both of these trends continue and whether facebook will blink before its user base.

  2. Sabarish says:

    Looks like Facebook is finally following one of the ten design heuristics (as given by Norman (http://www.nngroup.com/articles/ten-usability-heuristics/ ) –

    Match between system and the real world:
    The system should speak the users’ language, with words, phrases and concepts familiar to the user, rather than system-oriented terms. Follow real-world conventions, making information appear in a natural and logical order

  3. philippark says:

    This is very interesting to see what and how Facebook allows its users to be publicly available. Personally, I think that this move for Facebook is a good thing. Everyone using Facebook should be on level playing field as in everyone should have the same privacy features. That way, people are taking part in an even leveled social environment.

  4. mattpuls says:

    I think it is very important that Facebook does allow users to easily access the information in the 3 questions you write about. It is very easy to get caught up in sharing things with people who you know online without thinking about who could actually access the data you post. Many people who use Facebook now are not technologically savvy and would need to know what is able to be seen by others. I feel Facebook has a responsibility in providing these users with easy-to-understand answers detailed in your post to prevent them from allowing just any person access to their data. I feel that this is most important with children that use Facebook who would be very unlikely to get this information if it were not provided to them in such an easy and straightforward way.

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