Feeds

Open wide, 'Friends': Facebook wants to give you a 'Privacy checkup'

Shock tactic for current users and kinder settings for n00bs on the way

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

Facebook has taken the highly unusual step of changing its privacy settings to make them easier to understand and alter.

Current users will, in coming weeks, be offered what The Social NetworkTM is calling “a new and expanded privacy checkup tool” that will “take people through a few steps to review things like who they’re posting to, which apps they use, and the privacy of key pieces of information on their profile.”

Other enhancements to the company's apps will make it easier to determine the audience to which audiences post. A “public posting reminder” that offers “a quick reminder to people posting publicly to make sure they are sharing with the audience they want” is also on the way.

N00b taking their first steps onto Facebook will also benefit. Recruits were previously fed privacy settings that shared everything they do with a “Public” audience, which means all billion-plus entities on Facebook could see their updates.

Some members obviously didn't enjoy that level of exposure, as The Social NetworkTM has changed its default privacy settings so that new members' emissions are only shared with their Friends.

“We 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,” say the Zuck Squad.

“So, going forward, when new people join Facebook, the default audience of their first post will be set to Friends. Previously, for most people, it was set to Public,” the post continues. “First time posters will also see a reminder to choose an audience for their first post, and if they don’t make a choice, it will be set to Friends.”

Facebook's new privacy induction dialog for new users

Welcome to Facebook. Please choose between comprehensive or moderate invasions of privacy

It looks like user discomfort is behind the changes, as the post announcing them says “For people already on Facebook, we’ve also received the feedback that they are sometimes worried about sharing something by accident, or sharing with the wrong audience.”

Of course none of this stops Facebook itself rummaging through whatever data you choose to deposit in its loving embrace. But at least it means users will get a little more control over how and when their emanations are observed by third parties. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
Scotland's BIG question: Will independence cost me my broadband?
They can take our lives, but they'll never take our SPECTRUM
Trying to sell your house? It'd better have KILLER mobile coverage
More NB than transport links to next-gen buyers - study
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
iWallet: No BONKING PLEASE, we're Apple
BLE-ding iPhones, not NFC bonkers, will drive trend - marketeers
NBN Co adds apartments to FTTP rollout
Commercial trial locations to go live in September
Samsung Z Tizen OS mobe is post-phoned – this time for good?
Russian launch for Sammy's non-droid knocked back
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.