Facebook Rolling Out New Privacy Controls

FacebookPrivacySettings.jpgThe privacy-policy changes Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg detailed Dec. 1 became a reality Wednesday, as the social-networking site began rolling out a new set of privacy controls to all of its more than 350 million members.

As announced Dec. 1, regional networks are history, and Facebook users can choose between Friends, Friends of Friends and Everyone as far as who can view status updates, photos, videos and other content.

Highlights from a post on the Facebook Blog by product manager for privacy Ruchi Sanghvi:

Starting very soon, when you log in to Facebook, you’ll be presented with a quick and easy three-step process for reviewing and updating your settings.

The first step explains the changes we’re making. If you want a more in-depth explanation of how privacy works on Facebook, you can visit our new Privacy Center, a comprehensive privacy guide with information on how to control your experience. Once you’re ready to continue, click “Continue to Next Step.”

On the next page, you’ll be asked to make choices about who can see the various parts of your profile and the posts you create. If you’ve ever chosen to restrict access to parts of your profile, we’ll be recommending that you keep those more restrictive settings. If you’ve never done this, we’ll be making recommendations based on how lots of people are sharing information today.

For example, we’ll be recommending that you make available to everyone a limited set of information that helps people find and connect with you—information like “About Me” and where you work or go to school. For more sensitive information, like photos and videos in which you’ve been tagged and your phone number, we’ll be recommending a more restrictive setting.

Once you’ve made choices based on your comfort level, click “Save Settings.” You’ll see a confirmation step that lists the settings you’ve selected and includes a link to the Privacy Settings page, where you can customize further. As always, you have control over your information and can revisit your settings at any time.

No matter what section you choose, you’ll see an identical setting selector with three basic levels of privacy: Friends, Friends of Friends and Everyone. If you’re in a verified network, such as a network for your school or workplace, you’ll continue to have a “Friends and Networks” option. You’ll also be able to customize your settings based on certain friends and friend lists. As an added layer of protection, we’ll be requiring that you first enter your Facebook user name and password before changing any settings.