New Facebook privacy controls begin rolling out

Today Facebook has begun rolling out some new privacy controls for its users, to make what you share a lot simpler with easier to understand controls.

The new Facebook privacy controls offers the same basic information as the previous version, but now you can control each bit of information such as your status, photos and posts, and other bits of information.  Setting your privacy level of which group sees what you post has been made much clearer and easier.  You can select which group sees your information including everyone, friends of friends, friends only and other.

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Facebook has reduced the amount of basic information visible to everyone, giving you more control over who sees your friends and pages.  The new settings can be found under Basic Directory Information, but is recommended by Facebook to leave it open, so people can search for you.

Application and website controls have also been simplified, allowing for more control over what applications and websites can access your data, and how much of it.  Facebook has also added the functionality to completely disable this, if you don't play games.

Facebook also mentioned that this concludes their privacy overhaul, and will be the final change they will make, at least for awhile.  Users should begin seeing these changes over the next few weeks.  Facebook also includes this guide on controlling how you share, which explains all the features in detail. The changes have been made in response to a range of privacy security flaws in recent weeks. Four Democratic senators raised concerns over Facebook's privacy controls in a letter sent to Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg. Even Zuckerberg was criticised for reportedly calling users "dumb f**ks" when Facebook was originally founded in 2004.

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37 Comments

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Great, so all they did was made things simpler... yet there still aren't many privacy options. Almost all of this can be done right now.

How about getting rid of this whole crap about your interests being linked to pages for everyone to see and going back to the previous system?

Ayepecks said,

How about getting rid of this whole crap about your interests being linked to pages for everyone to see and going back to the previous system?

+1

Ayepecks said,
[...]

How about getting rid of this whole crap about your interests being linked to pages for everyone to see and going back to the previous system?


Why, when many of us believe that is a very useful feature and would dislike the idea of it being removed?

Edited by Calum, May 27 2010, 2:30pm :

Calum said,

Why, when many of us believe that is a very useful feature and would dislike the idea of it being removed?

You do realize that all that update did was force you to join pages for your interests, correct? If they go back to the old way, you can still join all those groups, but your interests and activities can be kept private -- how it should be, IMO.

Why do you like this feature? What does it add? It certainly doesn't help you find long-lost friends or anything like that.

Edited by Ayepecks, May 27 2010, 4:09pm :

Ayepecks said,

You do realize that all that update did was force you to join pages for your interests, correct? If they go back to the old way, you can still join all those groups, but your interests and activities can be kept private -- how it should be, IMO.

Why do you like this feature? What does it add? It certainly doesn't help you find long-lost friends or anything like that.


It didn't force me. It allowed me to either link my interests to pages (or have pages created for interests which didn't have a related page) or remove said interest. You can still hide your interests section from whoever you want, the only thing you can't hide is if your profile appears in the "X people like this" box (that's not always going to happen but could well do) - I agree that should allow the user to hide their profile from this, but I'd rather have this feature with this 'privacy issue' than not have the feature at all.

What the feature does add is a nice way to link our interests to pages. Why have redundant data - a pages section and then an interests section with a lot of repeated information? Now, when a user checks out somebody's interests, they can click through to see what each interest actually is, see information about it and see posts about it from anybody on Facebook whose privacy settings are set for everybody to see their posts.

The only improvements I would make are: 1) allowing for correct grammar - i.e. not making the pages case-sensitive when added to the interests section, but ensuring the beginning letter of each actual page is capitalised; 2) Allowing those who value their privacy when it comes to interests to remove their profile from site when it comes to the "X people like this box" (unless it already does that now?).

What other privacy issues are there in regards to this new feature? I don't care if people know my interests as long as the interests don't relate to or show my location.

Calum said,

It didn't force me. It allowed me to either link my interests to pages (or have pages created for interests which didn't have a related page) or remove said interest. You can still hide your interests section from whoever you want, the only thing you can't hide is if your profile appears in the "X people like this" box (that's not always going to happen but could well do) - I agree that should allow the user to hide their profile from this, but I'd rather have this feature with this 'privacy issue' than not have the feature at all.

What the feature does add is a nice way to link our interests to pages. Why have redundant data - a pages section and then an interests section with a lot of repeated information? Now, when a user checks out somebody's interests, they can click through to see what each interest actually is, see information about it and see posts about it from anybody on Facebook whose privacy settings are set for everybody to see their posts.

The only improvements I would make are: 1) allowing for correct grammar - i.e. not making the pages case-sensitive when added to the interests section, but ensuring the beginning letter of each actual page is capitalised; 2) Allowing those who value their privacy when it comes to interests to remove their profile from site when it comes to the "X people like this box" (unless it already does that now?).

What other privacy issues are there in regards to this new feature? I don't care if people know my interests as long as the interests don't relate to or show my location.


No, you cannot hide your interests -- there is absolutely no way to hide any of your interests or "likes", Facebok made that clear with the update. I even just went to make sure I wasn't incorrect as I typed this post, but no... anything you put in your interests is linked to a page that shows up in your profile regardless of whether or not you want people to see it -- that includes anyone. I have looked in all the privacy options, there is no way to make these things private.

Your likes and interests, education and work history are now all public if you choose to submit them in your Facebook profile. You can choose not to submit them, yes, but it still does not have the option of putting these in your profile and not allowing non-friends to see them.

I fail to see what this "feature" adds to Facebook. Sure, it may be redundant, but I'd rather have an interests section and a pages section rather than the current implementation. I do care if random people can see my interests. For example, if I'm applying for a job and they look me up on Facebook, I don't want them to change their mind about me simply because of my personal interests.

Because of this, I've chosen to not put any interests on my Facebook now. But I don't like that. I would much rather have my interests on there for my FRIENDS to see.

Ayepecks said,

No, you cannot hide your interests -- there is absolutely no way to hide any of your interests or "likes", Facebok made that clear with the update. I even just went to make sure I wasn't incorrect as I typed this post, but no... anything you put in your interests is linked to a page that shows up in your profile regardless of whether or not you want people to see it -- that includes anyone. I have looked in all the privacy options, there is no way to make these things private.

Your likes and interests, education and work history are now all public if you choose to submit them in your Facebook profile. You can choose not to submit them, yes, but it still does not have the option of putting these in your profile and not allowing non-friends to see them.

I fail to see what this "feature" adds to Facebook. Sure, it may be redundant, but I'd rather have an interests section and a pages section rather than the current implementation. I do care if random people can see my interests. For example, if I'm applying for a job and they look me up on Facebook, I don't want them to change their mind about me simply because of my personal interests.

Because of this, I've chosen to not put any interests on my Facebook now. But I don't like that. I would much rather have my interests on there for my FRIENDS to see.

I believe you are mistaken, unless you are referring to something else? You can set the level of privacy in regard to the interests and things you like on this page: http://www.facebook.com/settin...amp;section=profile_display

Where you see 'Interests' and 'Things I like,' change the grey drop-down from 'Everyone' to 'Only friends' or even 'Custom > Only me', if you wish for nobody to view them.

You can hide anything in that interests section this way.

Edited by Calum, May 28 2010, 11:37am :

Hey Mr.Zuckerberg, "dumb f**ks" have made your facebook such a big and important social network as it is today!! and the term "dumb f**ks" is much more suitable for yourself, you damn moron!!!!!!

To Neowin Mods: he(Zuckerberg) started first in 2004, I can't stay calm more than this!! let me defend myself(don't remove my comment).

opensuse said,
I don't think Zuckerberg reads Neowin comments.

I hope he does!
Whatever you want to call it but I feel better right now. they(facebook managers) playing with users privacy and it seems funny for some but not for me!! Also I quit facebook for good!!

Edited by veternan, May 26 2010, 9:21pm :

I'm not sure sharing all photos by default with the world is smart... surely that is 2nd most risk to misuse after contact details. With Status I guess the user should just imagine it's Twitter on normal settings.

"Recommended" is sharing your status, photos and posts with everyone. Hmm.

Still though, good change.

Mike Brown said,
"Recommended" is sharing your status, photos and posts with everyone. Hmm.

Still though, good change.

noticed that too, bad move

Mike Brown said,
"Recommended" is sharing your status, photos and posts with everyone. Hmm.

Still though, good change.


Haha, exactly! This is so sad. Facebook is taking this opportunity to re-enable "Share with Universe" settings that were previously disabled. Hahaha, o m g.

I had no problems with the old security since it was introduced to me when it was implemented and I adjusted the settings accordingly, this is just for stupid people. Also, people who want the 'Only Me' option about address etc, why put it on there in the first place if you don't want people to see it?

opensuse said,
"dumb f**ks" will still share everything with everyone.

and some dumb retards will not share anything with anyone, and be still On Facebook !! lol

they didn't just make it prettier, they made it way easier to enable privacy for everything instead of having to click 58 or so clicks to make everything private.

Ya guys, they are rolling the changes out over the next few weeks. Some people will begin getting it now, others will get it after 3 weeks. Much like the new facebook layout, it took many peoples weeks to get the new update.. I assume there are a lot of servers to update.

Ù… ahmz said,
Other? How about Only me? I hope that's in there.

So you want to hide your pictures, your wall, your comments, your personal information, your everything...from your friends and everybody? Oh yeah they have that, your doing it right now by not using Facebook.

The current way also hides the "Only me" option deep inside advanced settings. It's actually usable in two specific instances, when you want to avoid your friends seeing pictures of you posted by other people (when they tag you), and if you want to keep private posts by your friends on your wall. That's what I do.

Electric Jolt said,

So you want to hide your pictures, your wall, your comments, your personal information, your everything...from your friends and everybody? Oh yeah they have that, your doing it right now by not using Facebook.

Lol, they never said anything about hiding EVERYTHING, i have things like my e-mail on show to 'only me'