Popular social networking site Facebook has added a public-facing search function in a move which is likely to anger privacy advocates. The function will initially allow anyone who is not registered with the site to search for a specific person. More controversially, in a month's time, the feature will also allow people to track down Facebook members via search engines such as Google. The firm said that the information being revealed is minimal.
The public search listing will show the thumbnail picture thumbnail of a Facebook member from their profile page as well as links allowing people to interact with them. But, in order to add someone as a friend or send them a message, the person will have to be registered with Facebook. Users who want to restrict what information is available to the public or opt out of the feature altogether can change their privacy settings. They have a month to do so. Despite assurances from Facebook, critics have expressed disappointment at the move.