That’s right, more changes to Facebook’s privacy policies and controls are headed your way. The changes will go into effect on a rolling basis over the course of several weeks and these are mandatory changes with no opt out choice.
Many of the changes are designed to simplify the control process for users with more direct labeling of privacy settings and additional control over what apps can see and do. However, with all the positive that may come from these changes, Facebook can’t mask that they have stripped away possibly the one feature that is most important for privacy.
Here’s a rundown of the changes and briefly what they mean for your privacy.
Facebook Privacy Changes
Request and Removal Tool for Photos
In a nutshell, users will have the ability to mass request other users remove photos of them or untag themselves from photos.
Of course untagged photos don’t remove photos from other areas of Facebook, just removes them from your own timeline.
Privacy Quick Links
A new Privacy Shortcuts button will be added to all Facebook pages in the upper right hand corner with the Home button.
The Privacy Shortcuts button will list 3 primary links to more directly view who has access to your data and who can contact you. A fourth option is available to “See All Settings”, but one can only wonder what “all” means this time around.
Activity Log Improvement
Facebook has implemented a way to view your entire history in one fell swoop through the Activity Log. Users can view their most recent post as well as posts from years ago from the Activity Log screen.
This feature is already in place and can be seen by appending “allactivity” to the end of your Facebook page URL. [info]Example: https://www.facebook.com/YOURUSERNAMEHERE/allactivity.[/info]
The improvements come by way of filtering whether it be by year, month, post type or app interaction so users can quickly see those items which appeared in their timeline.
For a long time it’s been, when an app is in, it’s in. Now users will have another option to prevent blanket allowing of permissions to apps.
Users will still need to allow an app access to their profile in order to utilize its benefits, but only basic approval with an option for advanced permission. [info]Example: You want to use an app so you allow the app access to your profile. Done. Now the app wants permission to post to your friends. You can allow or skip that permission.[/info]
This change doesn’t really mean a whole lot since apps could essentially ignore the process unless Facebook starts demanding they adhere to their new permission policy.
Finally, the most significant change isn’t a positive one. Facebook has decided that users cannot opt out of having their name included in search.
That means, users cannot keep their profile hidden from the search feature. [warning]Think of Facebook as a worldwide phonebook, but you can’t be unlisted.[/warning]
The opt out of search feature is one of the most important of all privacy settings and frankly the foundation for privacy on Facebook. We’ll let you draw your own conclusions about this change, but we find this to be unacceptable.
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