Facebook Loses Privacy Setting – But Is It A Big Deal?

Facebook has announced that it is getting rid of its timeline privacy setting, which users could set up to stop people from searching for their name via a timeline search. Facebook has been criticised in the past six months over privacy issues including in September when the United States Federal Trade Commission (FTC) stated it was looking into concerns that the company was going to allow third parties to…

 

By Mike Wheeler

Facebook has announced that it is getting rid of its timeline privacy setting, which users could set up to stop people from searching for their name via a timeline search.

Facebook has been criticised in the past six months over privacy issues including in September when the United States Federal Trade Commission (FTC) stated it was looking into concerns that the company was going to allow third parties to procure Facebook users’ faces and likenesses for advertising purposes. The new policy was a fait accompli in that it basically stated that a person’s continued use of the site was them agreeing to allow Facebook advertisers to uplift peoples’ images and information.

However, this latest controversy might not be that big of a deal in that Facebook says only a few of its 1.2 billion subscribers use the feature. And as the company itself pointed out on its own Facebook page, there are plenty of other privacy settings users can set up. These settings not only cater to those wishing to keep their information to themselves, but most are a lot more effective than the one it is about to dump.

Facebook also said in a recent CNET interview that they were worried the feature was giving people a false sense of security as it didn’t do what most people thought it did.

Ironically the announcement came as the company started ramping up some search features including its recently announced Graph Search, which is still in test mode and has yet to have a release date.

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