Following years of constant criticism for its purported privacy problems, Facebook has made a second group of changes to its privacy settings in less than a month.
In April, Facebook announced several privacy-related changes to its heavily criticized system of apps. The latest changes to be announced are focused on individual user profiles and are an attempt to combat a widely held view that the company has a habit of sacrificing user privacy for potential profit.
What are the new changes and how do they affect what you share on Facebook?
The most major change comes for new users to the site (or perhaps those who bailed on it once, but have found their way back). Previously, a new user's posts, photos, and information were shared publicly by default. Now, however, new users' post will automatically default to only being shared with that user's friends.
In their announcement of the changes, Facebook said "[w]e recognize that it is much worse for someone to accidentally share with everyone when they actually meant to share just with friends, compared with the reverse."
2. Privacy Checkup
For existing users, Facebook is also rolling out new options geared toward making users aware with whom they're sharing their posts.
Arguably the most important is what Facebook calls their "privacy check up tool" which will remind users that they have the capability to select different audiences for different posts and walk them through how to do it. It will also remind users when they are posting updates visible to the general public.
3. Facebook for iPhone
The third change not to miss is a new feature on the Facebook iPhone app, which allows users of the app to easily see and select with what audience they are sharing their mobile updates. The audience a post is being shared with will now appear prominently in the top left-hand corner of the screen.
These new privacy changes should help save tech-challenged people a little embarrassment. It might even keep a few of them out of jail.
- Facebook Just Made a Big Change to Privacy Settings (The Huffington Post)
- Online Safety Resources (FindLaw)
- All Private Everything: PRISM-Free Phones and Operating Systems (FindLaw's Technologist)
- All Private Everything (Else): Apps, Services, Social Networking (FindLaw's Technologist)