October 10, 2013 4:05 pm

Facebook changes privacy settings, users can no longer hide from search

Starting Thursday, the social network will no longer allow users to prevent others from searching for them by name on the site.

AP Photo/Paul Sakuma, File

TORONTO – Facebook users who hold privacy near and dear to their hearts may not be very excited over Facebook’s latest privacy change.

Starting Thursday, the social network will no longer allow users to prevent others from searching for them by name on the site. The privacy setting called “Who can look up your Timeline by name?” was officially killed off in December; however those who had it selected could still use the setting.

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According to Facebook, the setting was created when Facebook was a “simple directory of profiles” and was more limited. But the setting was also removed in order to improve Facebook’s new search function called Graph Search, which allows users to search for hyper-specific things like “Friends of friends who are single.”

This means that all Facebook users will now be searchable through Graph Search.

“The best way to control what people can find about you is to choose the audience of the individual things you share,” said Facebook’s chief privacy officer Michael Richter on the company’s blog.

“In the coming weeks, people who are sharing posts publicly on Facebook will also see a notice reminding them that those posts can be seen by anyone, including people they may not know. The notice reminds people how to change the audience for each post.”

Read More: Worried about Facebook Graph Search? Clean up your privacy settings

Users who were using the old setting will see a notification on their Facebook homepage reminding them of the changes.

Richter explained in the blog post that users should check their “Activity Log” to review posts that they have made in the past to better ensure their privacy.

Users can access their Activity Log by clicking the lock symbol located on the top right of the Facebook homepage.

© Shaw Media, 2013

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