Saturday 27 December 2014

Facebook in new privacy push

Rhiannon Williams

Published 23/05/2014 | 07:40

Facebook is increasing its security settings for first time and existing users in response to user feedback highlighting privacy concerns.

New joiners to the social network will have their default privacy setting set to share with just Friends, when previously the majority of users' default audience was Public.

First time users will also see a reminder to choose an audience for their first post, and if they don’t make a choice, it will be set to Friends. Users will have the option to change who they are posting to at any time, and can also change the privacy of past posts.

Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook founder and chief executive, told the company's annual meeting on Thursday night that the changes marked an “important cultural shift”.

In response to feedback that account holders are occasionally "worried about sharing something by accident, or sharing with the wrong audience", Facebook will also be implementing an expanded privacy checkup tool.

Users will be prompted by a small blue dinosaur to check the audience of their posts, and whether they want to make any adjustments.

Mike Nowak, a Facebook product manager, told Reuters: "Sometimes people have felt that they've been unpleasantly surprised that their information was more public than they expected or intended. The feedback that we received is that oversharing is worse than undersharing."

iPhone owners using Facebook will now see the audience they're sharing with at the top of the screen, while desktop users will see a simplified audience selector. The company is currently testing similar improvements for other platforms.

Another feature, anonymous login, is the network's new method of logging into apps without sharing any personal information from Facebook.

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