After vote, Facebook moves to update privacy settings
Facebook tweaks settings to give users more, easier control
Facebook updated its privacy settings, adding shortcuts, an activity log and a new Request and Removal tool for photos users are tagged in. The tools, according to one analyst, are aimed at making privacy easier for users to navigate.
"It sounds like despite the vote and user apathy, Facebook is trying to make some changes that will benefit users," said Dan Olds, an analyst with The Gabriel Consulting Group. "These all seem like steps in the right direction.... Giving users more visibility into what they're sharing and with whom is very welcome. Plus giving them more control over what is visible is a benefit, as well."
Samuel Lessin, a product manager at Facebook, said in a blog post today that the site wants to help users understand who can see the information, photos and videos they're sharing.
"Up until now, if you wanted to change your privacy and timeline controls on Facebook, you would need to stop what you're doing and navigate through a separate set of pages," wrote Lessin. "Today we're announcing new shortcuts you can easily get to."
For instance, if users now want to get to their key privacy settings, they can simply go to the toolbar to manage "Who can see my stuff?," "Who can contact me?" or "How do I stop someone from bothering me?"
The new privacy changes also include new notices that help people know where their information appears. Lessin pointed out that Facebook is adding pop-up messages to notify users that even though they may have hidden something in their timelines, it may still appear in a news feed or search.
Facebook also has updated its Activity Log, which was first introduced last year. The new log has better navigation, designed to make it easier for users to review the history of their photos, posts, likes and comments.
The changes to Facebook's privacy settings follow on the heels of Facebook users' last vote on potential policy changes. The vote ended on Dec. 10.
While user sentiment was overwhelmingly against the social network making any changes to its standing policy, there were far from enough ballots cast to make it an official result.
Simply put, Facebook rules say that 30% of all active registered users must vote to make a decision binding. That means 300 million users would have had to vote on privacy changes; less than 700,000 users did so.
Olds, though, pointed out that users can always vote with their feet. If they don't like what Facebook is doing with their information, they can move to another social network.
"The voting issue is and was largely irrelevant," he said. "Like any other business, Facebook is going to respond to what they think is important to their customer base. Privacy is important to users, even if they don't participate in a formal online vote."
Sharon Gaudin covers the Internet and Web 2.0, emerging technologies, and desktop and laptop chips for Computerworld. Follow Sharon on Twitter at @sgaudin, on Google+ or subscribe to Sharon's RSS feed . Her email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Update: Facebook back up after crash
- What to expect in Facebook's earnings call today
- Could you quit Facebook for 99 days?
- Facebook is a school yard bully that's going down
- EPIC says Facebook 'messed with people's minds,' seeks FTC sanctions
- 7 things you need to know about Facebook's mood experiment
- Facebook emotional manipulation test turns users into 'lab rats'
- Facebook tries to stop Snapchat drain with Slingshot
- TMI! Facebook moves to stop over-sharing
- Inside Facebook's brilliant plan to hog your data
Read more about Social Media in Computerworld's Social Media Topic Center.
- Social Media Education: The New Edge for Success Failure to train for social media will cost your business money. A recent report showed how digitally prepared companies can unlock up to...
- Social Media in Technology: A Unified Strategy for Success Find out how social media is sparking a new era of customer and industry-understanding in technology enterprises and how industry leaders are overcoming...
- How Network Connections Drive Web Application Performance Users around the globe, on all sorts of devices, expect Web applications to function as seamlessly as desktop applications. This paper discusses the...
- Deep Security +VMware vSphere with Operations Management Most midsize organizations are highly virtualized on VMware, and while this has produced significant savings, it also has created new challenges when it...
- Business-driven data protection Setting up data protection infrastructures with your organizations' core mission or business in mind is key. In this webinar, the ARCserve team will...
- On-Demand Webinar: Mind the Gap! Watch the webinar featuring Bob Janssen, CTO and Co-Founder of RES Software, to start building a solid foundation for business and IT to... All Internet White Papers | Webcasts
Our new bimonthly Internet of Things newsletter helps you keep pace with the rapidly evolving technologies, trends and developments related to the IoT. Subscribe now and stay up to date!