Thursday, December 13, 2012

Facebook is rolling out new privacy controls Wednesday morning, while also taking away the option for you to hide from Facebook search.

The new privacy tools will make it easier for you to pick which of your friends or subscribers can view your personal info, status updates and photos, according to Reuters. It also makes it simpler for you to request that a photograph of yourself be taken down by the uploader.

Facebook is also making changes to your Activity Log, which will make it easier to see where your personal data is traveling across Facebook's Open Graph. Another change: apps must separately ask for permission to tap into your personal information and to post status updates for you. Both actions were previously handled with a single request.

Along with the privacy changes comes the major change to search you'll no longer have the option to hide from other Facebook users looking for your name, according to the New York Times. That's likely a move towards becoming a power player in online search  it's not hard to imagine Facebook as a modern Yellow Pages replacement.

You'll know you have the new privacy features when a privacy shortcut appears in the top-right corner of your Facebook window. The changes come in the wake of a vote in which users, who were overwhelmingly apathetic about the vote, lost the ability to decide the direction of future company policy privacy issues included.

Facebook's privacy changes are likely a response to those who criticize the site's privacy and sharing options for being too scattered and confusing. Many power Facebook users understand exactly how to adjust Facebook's privacy options to their liking, but many mainstream users lack that knowledge.
The search changes, however, are likely to aggravate many users and Internet privacy advocates.