Facebook has changed its privacy settings once again.
And while it sounds like for the most part the changes are for the better, there’s one tweak that’s going to upset tens of millions of users.
Let’s tackle the annoying thing first.
Facebook is stripping users of the ability to hide themselves from its search engine, Nick Bilton at Bits reports.
Product director Sam Lessin says only “a single-digit percentage of users” ever hid themselves from Facebook’s search engine, so, to him it’s no big whoop.
But, Bilton points out that Facebook has a billion users, so even 1% is still tens of millions of users.
And down the road, this could prove to be quite terrible for users. CEO Mark Zuckerberg says Facebook is planning to do more with search. Facebook already has one billion queries on a daily basis and it’s basically doing that without trying. Zuckerberg believes Facebook is “uniquely positioned” to do something with search.
If that happens, and you can’t opt out of being in Facebook’s search engine it could be very intrusive. Even today, for some people, like say, psychiatrists who don’t want their patients to find them, not being able to opt out of search is treacherous. Sometimes, you really can’t have people finding you on Facebook.
As for the other changes, they’re actually improvements, says Bilton. There is a new icon in the top of the Facebook banner that gives users access to quicker privacy settings. From there you can block people and see what’s shared or not shared.
Here’s a screenshot of what it looks like:
[credit provider=”Screenshot” url=”http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/12/12/facebook-changes-privacy-settings-again/”]