There is Facebook privacy news that is definitely going to make some users unhappy. According to Gawker on Oct. 10, the site has removed one privacy setting that they say people weren't using, but others thought were valuable. What's the change?
While Facebook's privacy news is simplified in saying they are just “finishing the removal of an old search setting,” others see it as a bigger deal. The privacy setting controlled who could search for a user's timeline: Everyone, Friends or Friends of Friends. As Gawker points out, the wording explaining what the privacy setting did was unclear to many and as such it was only used by a fraction of the site's users. It seems now that rather than tweak the wording and setting to accomplish what many users expected, they are simply removing it.
By removing this Facebook privacy option, people's timelines are opened up to a greater degree when others search for people on the site. However, some experts think this is a good move, if people will take the time to understand the implications.
TechCrunch shares that the prior privacy control typically didn't accomplish what many people thought. Now users have to consider privacy on every component of what they post, rather than sometimes mistakenly thinking they're covered by broader controls in place. TechCrunch says the old setting gave some a false sense of security, so now that is gone.
Those who had utilized the privacy setting that has now been removed will get a banner announcement at the top of their Facebook page sharing the privacy news. They will have to confirm that they understand the change before their name will begin to pop up in searches.
The big question many have after this Facebook privacy news made the rounds is what people can and should do if they are concerned about their privacy. It takes a bit of time, but users should go through the About section and check the settings of each component. While cover images and profile pictures are always visible, other details can be changed to “Friends” or “Only me” section by section.
Some feel that Facebook should be doing more to give users concerned about privacy the ability to hide their profiles and content from people they don't want to be able to see it. At this point, that doesn't seem to be the direction Facebook is heading. Will the Facebook privacy news change the way some use Facebook? People typically adapt with these changes as they come, but privacy issues are surely more likely to get many on edge over basic page design changes.