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.