Facebook Changes Aimed At Improved Privacy

Facebook Tuesday announced changes to its user interface that are designed to improve user privacy and make the social network's privacy options easier to find.

By John P. Mello Jr.
Tue, August 23, 2011

PC World — Facebook Tuesday announced changes to its user interface that are designed to improve user privacy and make the social network's privacy options easier to find.

Slideshow: Facebook Privacy: 10 Must-Know Security Settings
Facebook Privacy: 4 Valuable Yet Hard to Find Settings

The changes make it easier for a user to control who sees what he or she posts to the social network and what is able to be seen on a user's Facebook page. The changes affect your profile page, your posts, and tagging and adds a new addition: A do-over feature if you change your mind about who sees your post.

Change Details

The changes start with a user's profile page (see image below). Any content on the page will have a drop-down menu beside items there that lets the user know who can see the content--the public, friends, or custom viewers. Those options can be changed with a single click.

Drop-down menus have also been added to posts that users make. Those menus will be refined over time, according to Facebook Product Vice President Chris Cox. "These will make it easy to quickly select exactly the audience you want for any post," he wrote in a company blog.

Facebook is also introducing a sort of "do-over" feature. If you change your mind about who should see a posting after you post it, you can change that with the drop down menu, even after it has been posted.

Tagging has also been altered. Previously, photos and postings in which users were tagged automatically appeared on their profile pages. Now the user can approve or reject a tagged item before it appears on their profile page. They can't, however, block the tagged item from appearing on another user's pages.

Tagging has been expanded a bit, too. Users now can tag "friends" or non-friends, as well as pages, whether they "like" them or not. In addition, options for removing tags have been clarified.

Location options have also been changed. Previously, you could reveal your location only through the Places feature on a smartphone. Now you'll be able to add location information to anything--status update, photo or wall posting--and from any device. Of course, you can also choose not to reveal that information, too.

"These changes will start to roll out in the coming days," Cox wrote. "When they reach you, you'll see a prompt for a tour that walks you through these new features from your homepage."

Not Enough Privacy?

However, at least one security expert maintains the social network should have gone further to protect users' privacy.

Continue Reading

Originally published on www.pcworld.com. Click here to read the original story.
Our Commenting Policies