Facebook shift steps up privacy for new users

May 22, 2014

Facebook on Thursday unveiled a change to its privacy policy aimed at limiting the data shared by new users who may be unfamiliar with the huge social network.

The shift means that new users posting on Facebook will share data only with friends, not the general public, unless they change .

The tweak is the latest effort by Facebook to respond to concerns about privacy, following criticism over its data mining practices for marketing purposes.

"While some people want to post to everyone, others have told us that they are more comfortable sharing with a smaller group, like just their friends," Facebook said in a blog post.

"We recognize that it is much worse for someone to accidentally share with everyone when they actually meant to share just with friends, compared with the reverse. So, going forward, when new people join Facebook, the default audience of their first post will be set to friends. Previously, for most people, it was set to public."

Facebook added that first-time users will see a reminder to choose an audience for their first post, and if they don't make a choice, it will be set to .

The social network allows its users to change the audience for a post at any time, including of past posts.

Facebook said it will also soon roll out "a new and expanded privacy checkup tool, which will take people through a few steps to review things like who they're posting to, which apps they use, and the privacy of key pieces of information on their profile."

The company said it made the changes in response to feedback from users "that they are sometimes worried about sharing something by accident, or sharing with the wrong audience."

Facebook, which has grown to more than a billion members worldwide, has been dogged by for years, as well as by lawsuits claiming it fails to ensure personal data is safeguarded from marketers and third-party apps.

The group agreed with a US government agency to submit to external audits of how well it guards users' data.

Explore further: Facebook changes led users to reveal more, study finds (Update)

Related Stories

Facebook: ad policy unchanged, users in control

November 15, 2013

Facebook said Friday that ads on the social network featuring user endorsements and pictures were nothing new, and that members remain in control of their own content and images.

Is Facebook finally taking anonymity seriously?

May 6, 2014

Having some form of anonymity online offers many people a kind of freedom. Whether it's used for exposing corruption or just experimenting socially online it provides a way for the content (but not its author) to be seen.

Recommended for you

Apple issues update after cyber weapon captured

August 26, 2016

Apple iPhone owners on Friday were urged to install a quickly released security update after a sophisticated attack on an Emirati dissident exposed vulnerabilities targeted by cyber arms dealers.

Auto, aerospace industries warm to 3D printing

August 25, 2016

New 3D printing technology unveiled this week sharply increases the size of objects that can be produced, offering new possibilities to remake manufacturing in the auto, aerospace and other major industries.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.