Make us your home page

Facebook changes privacy settings, again

Stop me if you've heard this one before: Facebook is making changes to its privacy settings.

First, it is improving some privacy protections. The company is adding a new top-level control, called Privacy Shortcuts, that will allow people to quickly change who can see their "stuff" (as Facebook calls it) and who can contact them through the Web site. The shortcut will also feature a one-button link to block someone on Facebook.

Sam Lessin, Facebook's director of product, said that highlighting the ability to block someone is an increasingly useful feature.

"There are a billion users and blocking is the ultimate way of saying I don't want to interact with this person," Lessin said.

The company is also introducing a higher level of control on the site's Activity Log, a feature that allows people to hide or remove things that appear on their Facebook timeline. People will now be able to quickly view and control comments, photos and posts that have been tagged by others.

But when Facebook giveth, Facebook taketh away.

The company is eliminating the ability for people to hide themselves on Facebook's search, a control, that until now, has existed in the privacy settings on the company's website.

Lessin said the ability to hide from the site's search would be "retired" as only "a single-digit percentage of users" actually hide themselves from Facebook search. But keep in mind that Facebook has a billion people on the site; a single-digit percentage of users could mean tens of millions of people.

Facebook changes privacy settings, again 12/16/12 [Last modified: Sunday, December 16, 2012 5:19pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, New York Times.

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours