Facebook simplifies privacy options

The company had announced its intention to make these changes in the summer

Following through on plans announced a few months ago, Facebook is rolling out changes on Wednesday to its privacy settings intended to make them simpler to adjust and understand by its 350 million end users.

In addition to consolidating some privacy options and grouping them in a single interface, Facebook will also provide new tools designed to walk end users through the settings.

Also, Facebook users will now be able to establish a privacy setting for every item they post on the site via a drop-down menu.

"We believe people should have the ability to share information with only the people they want. We also believe the best time to make this decision is at the very moment the person is sharing something, not months or even years before on a settings page far away," said Elliot Schrage, Facebook's vice president of communications, public policy and marketing, in a press conference.

"We want to make privacy something that is considered in context of what's being shared, so that users have more control every step of the way."

As part of this initiative, all Facebook users will be prompted to review and confirm their privacy settings. The page will list the items with privacy that needs to be confirmed and give users the option to retain their existing setting or change it to a setting Facebook recommends. Depending on the item, the Facebook suggestion may be either to relax the privacy control or tighten it.

In that page, some of the Facebook suggestions will be preselected for the users, who will have to manually pick the old setting if they don't agree with the Facebook suggestion.

Facebook had indicated its intention to make these changes back in July, when it publicly acknowledged that its privacy controls had become scattered across multiple settings pages and that they lacked consistency. This resulted in confusion among many end users, who then didn't take proper advantage of Facebook's very granular privacy settings.

"Numerous settings and complicated options can make it harder for people to make informed decisions about their privacy or about the Facebook experience they want," Schrage said.

As previously announced, Facebook has done away with its regional network option, which let end users make their profile viewable by others located in their same geography.

Many regional networks had become too big and don't necessary reflect a common interest among their members. Regional networks has been replaced with four options: friends; friends of friends; everyone; and customized. People can still choose to make their profile open to others in their work and school networks.

"We're moving away from our outdated regional network-based model to a new simpler model based on contextual privacy, where users control the privacy over every single thing they share at the time they choose to share it," Schrage said.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags Facebookprivacy

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Juan Carlos Perez

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?