Live Notes from Future of Facebook Privacy Conference Call (With Screenshots)

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fblogosmallFacebook is holding a press call this morning on the future of privacy. Chris Kelly, Chief Privacy Officer, and Leah Perlman, Product manager, are going to be sharing updates on upcoming Facebook privacy enhancements. The new updates, which simplify the privacy controls on Facebook, will be rolling out in the next few weeks. Here are detailed notes and screenshots from this morning’s preview:

- Chris Kelly: We want to make sure we don’t create too many settings and too much complexity, to give people the power to share information as broadly or privately as they want over time. There was a rumor a while ago that Facebook is going to start charging for Facebook, and this is not the case. This also doesn’t have anything to do with advertising – as I testified before the house recently, we’re giving people control over the information that they’re choosing to share.

- Leah Perlman: Currently, the publisher privacy tests that we started running last week are proving quite effective. The new publisher allows for different types of sharing that we haven’t been able to support before. Sometimes you want to share more privately or in a more targeted way – for example, posting something just for my family to see.


- Leah Perlman: We’re also planning to remove regional networks. When Facebook started, networks were the bedrock for privacy. But when we expanded past college and work networks to regional networks to fit everyone, it actually created some confusion around privacy controls as it relates to regional networks. 50% of users don’t even join regional networks.


- Leah Perlman: Now, users will have the same privacy control to put on any piece of content on the site. The same 4 or 5 options:

  1. Everyone
  2. Friends and Networks (good for sharing photos of friends, so their friends can see them)
  3. Friends of Friends
  4. Friends Only
  5. Custom (can choose a combination of networks and friend lists, and exclude particular people)


- Leah Perlman: Here’s what the new unified privacy page will look like. The lock icon will behave the same everywhere it appears.



- Leah Perlman: We’re going to be offering people a transition tool. It has 2 purposes: 1) To make sure everyone understands the changes that are going to be happening on the site. 2) To make it clear that if you open up access to content that you share it can make your experience of finding and interacting with friends richer. We’re testing different versions of this tool now. There will be 3 main options:

  1. Open – people like bloggers or photographers who really want to be open.
  2. Limited – those who only want to share with a limited number of people.
  3. Recommended – this strikes a balance to help people make the appropriate information shared openly and privately.

Transition Tool 1:


Transition Tool 2:


- Leah Perlman: No matter what options people choose, everyone will see this privacy confirmation screen. We want to make sure that everyone is setting things exactly as they want them.



- Chris Kelly: The transition tool offers a powerful opt-in to let users make their choices. We think this degree of control is where the web is going.


- Question: if I set content to public, will it be indexable my major search engines?

- Leah Perlman: Not at this time, no.

- Elliot Schrage: We are not providing it in the broadest possible way at rollout, but we want people to be sensitive to that possibility, so we are rolling it out in this way to see what feedback we get.