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Facebook is rolling out privacy-guarding features for a change

Updated Dec 19th, 2018 8:47PM EST
Facebook Privacy Settings Tweaks

Facebook has long been slammed for breaching the privacy of its customers in the past, but the company seems to be interested in introducing more privacy-guarding features that should help users better protect the things they share on the social network while also making sure Facebook still runs as it’s expected to.

As Engadget reports, Facebook has learned from thousands of surveys performed each day that not all users are aware they can share certain posts only with certain audiences, instead of the general public, and that’s something it wants to fix.

“When people have an unpleasant surprise like this,” Facebook’s privacy product manager Mike Nowak said, “It’s bad for them, and it’s bad for us.”

The company will not create other filters, or privacy options for customers to get used to, but instead it will try to tweak the visibility of existing options so users know who will be able to see their shared posts and status updates. In the future, Facebook will also roll out a test to better explain what “Public” and “Friends” mean and could introduce a “Privacy Checkup” box that should make sure users are aware of who’s going to see their next update. A notification informing the user that his or her post is about to be shared with the friends of one of his or her friends is also in the works.

The company has recently updated its mobile app, placing the audience selector menu that lets users choose between “Public” and “Friends” on top of the “update status” menu rather than on the bottom.

Finally, the company plans to also restrict older cover photos to a limited audience, although your existing cover photo, profile photo and user name will always be visible to anyone. Apparently, this is a distinctive Facebook feature – allowing users to find friends anywhere in the world – that won’t be removed to guard anyone’s privacy.

“Our goals haven’t changed,” Facebook privacy engineering manager Raylene Yung said. “We want people to be aware and be comfortable with sharing with the right people all the time.”

Screenshots showing some of the proposed privacy tweaks follow below.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.