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

Boost IT visibility and business value

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. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
Déjà vu: Virgin Media jacks up broadband prices
Screw copper phone lines, we're UNIQUE, bleats telco
UK fuzz want PINCODES on ALL mobile phones
Met Police calls for mandatory passwords on all new mobes
Netflix swallows yet another bitter pill, inks peering deal with TWC
Net neutrality crusader once again pays up for priority access
Fifteen zero days found in hacker router comp romp
Four routers rooted in SOHOpelessly Broken challenge
New Sprint CEO says he will lower axe on staff – but prices come first
'Very disruptive' new rates to be revealed next week
US TV stations bowl sueball directly at FCC's spectrum mega-sale
Broadcasters upset about coverage and cost as they shift up and down the dials
UK mobile coverage is BETTER than EVER, networks tell Ofcom
Regulator swallows this line and parrots it back out at us. What are they playing at?
What's the nature of your emergency, Vodafone?
Oh, you've dialled the wrong number for ad fibs, rules ASA
EE network whacked by 'PDP authentication failure' blunder
Carrier is 'aware' of cockup, working on a fix NOW
ROAD TRIP! An FCC road trip – Leahy demands net neutrality debate across US
You crashed watchdog's site, now time to crash its ears
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.
7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
BYOD's dark side: Data protection
An endpoint data protection solution that adds value to the user and the organization so it can protect itself from data loss as well as leverage corporate data.
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.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?