Facebook to launch new and improved privacy control

Update 09/12/11: Facebook’s privacy settings do not stop my friends tagging people in my photos. In fact friends of friends are now able to comment, even though I am not their Facebook friend. This is happening, regardless of photo privacy being set to “friends only”. Your friends can tag you, so you have little or no control on people you don’t know (friends of friends) commenting on a tagged photo. I’d suggest you use the “Tag review of tags that friends want to add to your posts” function from Privacy settings > How tags work.

Facebook plans to move the privacy settings page to the main profile page (rather than several clicks away and making it complicated for users), right beside the posts, photos and tags they affect. Integrating and streamlining the privacy settings with the content will make it much easier for Facebook users to control who sees what and what others can say/tag about you.

One of the major changes is when someone tags you in a post, such as photo or video, the person being tagged will have the option to confirm or remove their identity before it appears on that persons profile. This will stop the cyberbullies from tagging people to inappropriate images and content about you.

Facebook will be rolling out this feature improvement on August 25th. You will see a prompt on your homepage that will take you through a tour of the new features and how you can use them. Here are the privacy changes Facebook will be introducing this week.

  • View Profile As… – this is now visible on the top of your profile for easy access – users will be pleased about this improvement
  • In line controls – each item on a user’s wall has individual privacy options, such as public, friends and custom. The audience label will automatically update to show that the person tagged and their friends can see the post
  • Content Tag Review – you will be able to review and approve or reject any tag someone tries to add to your photos and posts
  • Universal tagging – users can tag anyone, not just Facebook friends. Other person can choose not to accept the tagged post on their profile – What Would You Like To Do?
  • Location tagging in posts – geographic locations can be added in all versions of Facebook, not just mobile app (Facebook is phasing out the mobile-only Places feature). You can also choose not to add a location from here too.
  • Profile Tag Review – you can approve or reject any photo or post you are tagged in before it’s visible to anyone else on your profile

Worth noting, there will be no unexpected changes to users’ privacy settings and existing users will retain their current default sharing settings. The default setting for someone sharing content for the first time will defaulted to “public”, which replaces the “everyone” setting. Whatever option the users selects will become their default option. This is much more simplified.

Facebook though, faces difficult challenges. With one hand they want to protect (and are being forced too by privacy advocates and the US Govt) your online privacy (by providing more privacy control) while with the other hand they want people to share, as your profile data is valuable marketing data for their revenue stream. Remember, it is your profile data (including your ‘Likes’ ‘Status Updates’ etc) that is what really interests Facebook and their advertising and marketing affiliates.

Safe surfing folks!

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14 Responses to Facebook to launch new and improved privacy control

  1. Thai Phi says:

    Quick question about the new privacy settings on Facebook.

    I have an album set to Friends (as I always have in the past). All of a sudden, friends of friends are commenting. I double checked and even with the Friends setting, there’s now a note that says “anyone tagged and their friends can also see this post. Doesn’t this override my own privacy setting to only allow friends to see it? Is there a way around this? Am I missing something?

    Many thanks for your help.

    • Julian says:

      #Thai Phi# Click >Privacy >How tags work (edit settings) >Click dropdown (Custom) >Make photos etc visible choose the “specific people” setting. This removes the “anyone tagged and their friends can also see this post” feature and gives you back your control. 🙂

      • Eric says:

        it doesn’t work? I tried that, but when I view privacy settings located below the photo, it still reads “visible to friends of friends”

  2. Julian says:

    #Eric# Where it says “Control Your Default Privacy” on the Privacy page, you will need to click on >Custom and select “friends” or “specific friends”.

  3. Ella says:

    Hmmm this defeats all the privacy I”ve always had on my fb page!!!! yes you can go to custom and click on specific people but who has time to write the 100 people I have on my page that I have no problem seeing my pictures which is why I’m cool with them being on my fb , what I don’t want is the 600 random strangers on my frens page (that I have now tagged)commenting on my pics!!

    • Julian says:

      #Ella# If it’s your own photo and you put the privacy to “friends only” then your friends cannot see it. If you tag a friend in their photo, and their privacy is “friends of friends” or “everyone”, then everyone is able to comment. Kind of defeats the objective of enabling ‘Tagging Privacy’. That said I have found a way to stop friends of friends seeing your comments, photos etc – Go into account settings and selection notifications from the left side column – then look to the ‘ALL NOTIFICATIONS’ section (scroll down a bit) and under that look for example ‘photos’ – click edit to the right. You will then need to check any boxes, but the one you want to check is ‘comments on your photos’. UPDATE: The ‘ALL NOTIFICATIONS’ section doesn’t stop friends of friends commenting…. (see my reply to Dave below).

  4. Thai Phi says:

    Just an FYI: I spoke with a friend who works at Facebook and they are aware of the problem. They plan on fixing it within the next week or so and possibly making it more granular so you change the privacy setting for individual pics. Hope this happens.

  5. dave says:

    This solution does not work indeed, and I cannot find a way around this …

    Some “friends of friends” of mine UsE tHiS KiNd Of WrItInG and I find it horribly irritating (not to mention their comments are usually thoroughly useless)

    Why can’t we choose who comments on our own pictures ? I might as well stop tagging people (yet they could tag themselves, which would force me not to upload pictures anymore to preserve my facebook tranquility)

    • Julian says:

      #Dave# my previous post isn’t correct as using “ALL NOTIFICATIONS” in Account settings doesn’t appear to stop friends of friends from commenting on your photos. All this feature does is notify you by email when a friend or friends of friends comments about a wall post or tagged photo. I understand Facebook is looking into the ‘comments’ issue. Facebook seems to be changing the default privacy settings on a regular basis. We will be keeping a close eye on this.

  6. John says:

    I have a question, I have my friends list set to “me only”, if I go to custom and add a certain few people do they get a message or news feed update that I did this? I really don’t want them to notice as originally some of them would have seen my friends list anyway. I know long winded question but any help would be great:)

  7. Tanya says:

    New Albums have the “custom” option and you can un-click the “friends of friends can see this” part. But I went back to my old albums and yes like everyone said I HAVE NO CONTROL on who sees the pictures. I only accept friends that I’m confident with sharing my life with. I do not appreciate strangers posting all over my pictures.
    I hope they fix this error soon.

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