August 24, 2011

Facebook Updates Privacy Controls


Facebook, in an effort to increase privacy in the social networking realm, is making some major changes to its software. These changes will let people quickly know exactly who can see everything that is posted and to block unwanted photos and other tagged items.

One of the changes being made is changing the “everyone” option to “public”. Currently the “everyone” setting means everyone on the internet, not everyone on Facebook. This change gives the user more control over who can see what is posted on the user´s Facebook page.

Erica Newland, a policy analyst at the Center for Democracy and Technology, praised all the Facebook changes, telling CNET, “I think we are seeing a trend right now towards empowering users to have granular controls over types of information they share or information about them that is shared. It´s a sign that companies like Facebook and Google are competing on privacy.”

According to CNET, Google+ has been praised for avoiding social networking privacy pitfalls by allowing users to easily control who they share content with.

One of the changes for Facebook, according to CNET, is that users will be able to set specific content to either “public”, “friends”, or “custom”. These items will be next to the item and will be changeable with one click. All items that are posted will have these options including comments, photos and tagged items. Facebook is also working toward a system where the user can set smaller groups, such as friends or coworkers to specifically share items with.

Another new tool that Facebook is coming out with is the ability to reject other peoples´ photos or tagged items from being automatically added to your profile page. You will still have to manually untag yourself, though. Also, you can either accept or reject a tag that someone places on your photos and posts, and you can see who tagged you in a photo.

Facebook is also adding the ability to tag people who are not Facebook friends. But, if you are tagged by a stranger you will be able to approve it first.

Another feature being added is the ability to tag geographical locations. This is currently available on Facebook Mobile, but is being moved over regardless if you are on a laptop or smartphone.


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