Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Update your Facebook privacy settings ASAP!

If you are a Facebook user, you should review and update your privacy settings ASAP.

Today, Facebook has changed most of your settings to be public by default. Public not just to everyone on Facebook, but to everyone on the Internet! As if that douche move was not enough, they are busy making deals with Internet search engines and assorted other marketers to sell your dirt. What that means is that, someone like say a prospective employer, could search for your name online and find your not-so-professional Facebook status messages!

Facebook claims on their blog that for "sensitive information, like photos and videos in which you've been tagged and your phone number, we'll be recommending a more restrictive setting".

I don't know what they mean by "recommending", but on my Facebook profile, I found that they had selected photos to be shared with everyone (on the Internet!) by default. This was true of almost every other setting, except for my email address.

Once your data is published to others, deleting it from Facebook won't delete it from other places. Facebook makes this clear in its privacy policy, which 99.99% of Facebook users don't bother reading:
If you delete “everyone” content that you posted on Facebook, we will remove it from your Facebook profile, but have no control over its use outside of Facebook.

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