Facebook Revamps Privacy Settings - but misses opportunity to do so much more
Facebook has announced that it is rolling out what appears to be a major change to its privacy settings.In a blog post published today, Facebook VP of Product at Facebook Chris Cox announced what he described as "a bunch of improvements that make it easier to share posts, photos, tags and other content with exactly the people you want."
The changes will begin to roll out to Facebook users in the coming days, but here's a summary of what's new:
* Inline controls - Previously the privacy settings for your Facebook content were buried away in a labyrinth of different pages. In the future, each post will have a privacy control alongside it, making it more obvious who you are sharing information with
This is a little like how Google+ operates, with users being able to choose at the time of post exactly which individuals or groups of friends (known as "circles") they wish to share information with.
* Profile tag review - In the past, if someone tagged you in an embarrassing photograph (remember you were drunk at the company BBQ?) it would show up instantly on your profile. You will now be able to approve or reject any photo or post you are tagged in before it is visible on your profile.
Note, that doesn't mean that people can't tag you in a photograph without your approval - it sounds like they still can, it's just that it won't then be visible on your profile without your permission.
Photo-tagging is, in the feedback Naked Security has received from Facebook users, one of the most unpopular elements of the site. It's our belief that many Facebook users would like the ability to block anyone from tagging them in photographs without their express permission, rather than simply blocking the photo from appearing on their profile.
Instead, you'll probably find yourself continuing to request that people untag you from photographs, and kindly learn not to do it anymore in future.
* Content tag review - In the past, anyone who had permission to see your photos or posts could add tags to them. You will now be able to choose whether you want to approve or reject any tag someone tries to add to your photos and posts.
* View profile as.. - You've always had the ability to see what your profile looks like from a different user's perspective, but now Facebook will be making the facility much easier to access.
Google+ offers similar functionality for its social networking users.
* "Everyone" becomes "Public" - A terminology change by Facebook. In the past, users may not have been aware that if they chose to share information with "everyone" that actually meant "everyone, everywhere on the internet, forever".
Is "Public" an improvement? Probably, but I suspect many folks still won't realise its true implications.
Because even if you change your mind, it's too late - and although Facebook say they will remove information from your profile if you choose to zap it, you and they have no control about how it is used outside of Facebook.
In fairness, Google+ uses the same terminology.
Reference : Naked Security News
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