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Monday, August 29, 2011

Big changes to Facebook privacy (an overview)

So Facebook is rolling out new changes to your news feed (you may have it already). On the plus side for privacy: You can control who sees stuff that is posted about you (like tagged photos) which finally closes one huge privacy leak (changes will not affect older photos but you can retrospectively change them - tomorrow's blog topic!). You can also limit old posts - an interesting idea for possible use for pages (part of tonight's post which publishes in the morning)
Facebook now makes it  extraordinarily easy to add location info (data) into your post (use this carefully - I can see where it would be very useful to include that info with events, but please please please remember public = everyone on the www. Think before you tell people where you are or will be ...) So, as always, it is up to you to decide how much info you want to share.

The first time you see your new settings you'll be guided through the process (you can read about the changes here); after that your settings will apply to all new posts. Settings can be changed via the little buttons at the bottom (and you can still set some default (override) settings via your privacy page.
  • What's on your mind [default]: same as before for the most part
  • Say who you are with - when you @ someone it tags them 
    • If you don't understand how this works, when you tag someone it shows up in their feed and their friends can then see your post too (depending upon their privacy settings).  You now have final control over that privacy setting.
    • You still control who sees your status update. If you already have a custom status update, that should stick (but it's worth checking). The big news here is that you can control whether friends of your friend who tagged you can see the info (or photo).

I can see some good uses of tagging location as it will make for an an easy way to add location for direction purposes for events, but I won't be using it like foursquare (will you?)

...and don't forget to take a look at your new privacy page which has been  "simplified" - it looks better, but I think there still needs to be an Advanced or ALL that shows exactly all settings for everything on all page (vs. splitting them up into sections).

Always doublecheck your settings any time Facebook rolls out changes. You don't want to get caught unaware. Now would be a good time to go through your applications, removing any old games or apps you no longer use. Also, if you are not seeing everyone in your stream, do not forget to change that via  Recent> Edit Options> Choose All
In a nutshell, the biggest changes I see are
  • Giving control over content posted by others to you.  From Facebook: "We removed a setting that limited whether the friends of people you tagged could see a post. Now you control this by choosing who you tag and approving tags other people add to your content. Your old posts won't change - unless you limit older posts.
  • Finally changes the terminology "everyone" to "public" since that is what it is. From Facebook: "Also, we've changed the label for "Everyone" to "Public," but your posts will still reach the same people."
  • Made it easier to add location / geo  info.

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