The recent vote by Facebook users fell far short of the numbers needed to stop Facebook from making changes to its policy documents. And users no longer will have the opportunity in the future to vote on changes.
Now that Faceback has prevailed, however, it has made a peace offering of sorts and released some helpful privacy tools for its users.
This week's updates include privacy shortcuts, an easier-to-use Activity Log, and a new Request and Removal tool for managing photos that users are tagged in. Here is a brief description of those and other changes:
- Privacy shortcuts will allow users to adjust their privacy settings from a handy toolbar at the top of their page, which means they don't have to open their settings and find the privacy control page. Privacy options are now displayed as common user questions, such as “Who can see my stuff?” “Who can contact me?” and “How do I stop someone from bothering me?”
- App permissions will become a two-step process. The idea is to make sure users are aware when they have added an app that not only accesses their personal data but may automatically post on their behalf. This means that you can use a music app such as Spotify while denying it permission to post songs you listen to.
- Activity logs will show a more complete accounting of your recent activity, including photos you've been tagged in. (Currently, your activity log shows just things you have done on Facebook, such as posting a photo from your Instagram or liking a page.)
- You'll soon have a Request and Removal tool that's really nothing more than a form you can fill out and send to someone who has posted a photo that you don't like. It will also let you "batch"-untag yourself from multiple photos.
- Facebook also has decided to eliminate a feature that let people block their names from appearing in Facebook search results. This has caused a new ripple of outrage in security circles, but Facebook said, "The setting was very limited in scope, and didn't prevent people from finding others in many other ways across the site."
And lest you forget how little privacy you have on Facebook , the company is adding reminders. For instance, when you hide a post from your Timeline, you'll see an alert that says, "Stuff you hide from Timeline may still appear in news feed, search, and other places."
These updates and new tools will begin rolling out at the end of 2012. Look for a new lock icon in the upper-right corner of your Facebook page next to Home.
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