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Facebook changes default privacy settings, adds new privacy tools

updated 12:19 pm EDT, Thu May 22, 2014

Reminders will show to new, existing users about audience of status updates

Facebook is changing the default target of status updates for new users, it has revealed, potentially helping users from posting publicly things that should be between friends. As well as helping prevent first-time posters from oversharing, Facebook is also preparing to release a new privacy checkup tool, which will aid existing users in reviewing their privacy preferences.

New users will be confronted by a pop-up notification, warning them of the option to post to friends and to a wider public audience. All users will still be able to set their own default audience setting, and can change the setting for individual posts, as well as for posts that have already been published. TechCrunch reports the privacy checkup tool will periodically remind users of their privacy settings for posts, personal information shown on their profile, and what apps they share data with, giving the option to change them to something more appropriate to their needs.

"We want to do all we can to put power and control in people's hands," said the company in a statement. "This new tool is designed to help people make sure they are sharing with just the audience they want. Everything about how privacy works on Facebook remains the same."

In recent months, Facebook has made a number of changes to the way it deals with user privacy, including occasional posting reminders, changes to the way it shows the status update's audience in the mobile apps, and a redesigned App Control Panel, making it easier to see what each app is allowed to do. It has also elected to re-evaluate how it manages profiles of deceased users, leaving privacy settings as they were at the time a memorialization request is made, instead of the previous policy where it set accounts to be viewable only by friends.

by MacNN Staff



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