Facebook Privacy Now Easier to Manage, Site Says

Dennis Faas's picture

Facebook has implemented changes designed to simplify users control over their privacy on the site. The move follows complaints about, and even a government investigation into, the site's treatment of its members' personal data.

According to Facebook, the changes are intended to improve privacy three ways: giving information when most needed; showing how data will appear; and improving removal of data that is already online. (Source: fb.com)

Privacy Information Easy to Find

Because of the changes, you need no longer hunt through settings pages to find the most relevant privacy options. A padlock symbol now appears on the right of the blue bar at the top of every page.

Clicking this link lets you quickly check who can see your information, who can contact you through Facebook, and how to report unwanted contacts.

Also, applications now work differently on Facebook. The single screen asking users to give permission, 'yes' or 'no,' for an app to access personal data is gone.

Now users can set a privacy level that makes them feel more comfortable when using the app and Facebook.

No More Surprises With 'Deleted' Facebook Pics

Another change: when you delete content, such as a post or a photo, Facebook now tells you exactly what happened to that "deleted" data.

For example, removing a photo from your timeline won't remove it completely from Facebook. Instead, it can still be found using Facebook's search tool. Facebook now warns you about this and tells you how to remove it completely.

A final change makes it easier to deal other peoples' uploaded photos that "tag" (or label) you within them. You're now able to select photos and remove your tagging in one go.

After you remove your tag, people won't be able to see the pictures through your profile. However, they'll still appear on your friend's account.

For your convenience, Facebook now lets you send friends a single message covering all their pictures tagging you and asking them to remove them.

These changes reflect repeated complaints from users who found the privacy tools on Facebook confusing, and who often struggled to keep track of when and how their personal data could appear online and who could see it.

It also reflects a settlement, reached this summer, in a Federal Trade Commission investigation into claims that Facebook misled users about privacy issues.

The huge social network agreed to undergo an independent review every two years to make sure it is respecting its users' privacy. (Source: ftc.gov)

Rate this article: 
No votes yet