January 30, 2012
Like It Or Not, Timeline Is Coming To Your Facebook Page
As soon as the backlash from one major policy or interface change settles down, Facebook rolls out yet another. Facebook is now mandating all of its users use the Timeline feature whether you want to or not and a large percentage of people are not happy with it reports John Bingham for The Telegraph.
Timeline will create for you an online life story, basically a view of every status update you ever made on Facebook. All of those past relationships, embarrassing photos, drunken updates, everything will be readily viewable.
Online security firm Sophos polled 4,110 Facebook users and 51 percent said that the new Timeline profile was worrying to them. Thirty-two percent admitted they didn´t know they were even still a member of Facebook. Only 8 percent said they liked the feature, while another 8 percent said they will get used to it.
Admitting that its poll was not scientific, Sophos also admits its respondents are likely more security-minded than the average user, but said many are indeed concerned about the new profile change.
Another concern is Timeline joined with the “frictionless” Facebook applications, which automatically post on a user´s Timeline what they are doing within the app, without requiring the “share” button. The Spotify app, for example, shares in real-time all the songs to which a user has listened, writes Angela Moscaritolo for PC Mag.
Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos, wrote in a blog post Friday, “Facebook is encouraging users to enter even more personal details about themselves and their life experiences, and making it simpler for others to view the information.”
Cluley pointed out that the vast amount of information made easily accessible by Timeline could help identity thieves build profiles of users. “That´s all information which could be put to a nefarious use.”
Users will get a seven-day period to review their Timeline before it is posted to Facebook, though it can be published earlier if the user wishes. In reviewing their Timelines, users can opt to hide or feature certain stories. To feature something, mouse over the story and click the star to expand it to two columns. The pencil icon will also provide the ability to hide, delete, or edit a post.
“If nothing else, use this opportunity to re-evaluate what you share online, spring clean your Facebook account and online friend relationships, and ensure that you are only sharing what you want to share, with who you want to share it with,” Cluley included.
Posts will include a privacy drop-down menu that lets users select who sees their information: public, friends, only me, or custom.
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