Talking tech since 2003

Facebook is rolling back one of their long-standing privacy policies on its network. Starting today, your default privacy settings on Facebook (when you launch a new account) will be set to share with “Friends Only,” instead of publicly for the world to see.

If you have an existing account, you can change your settings if you haven’t already, here.

In addition to making your posts more private and allowing you to share more openly if you wish, Facebook will also soon prompt all users to do a “privacy checkup” on what they’re sharing, who they’re sharing with, and what applications are accessing their data (which can now be modified or revoked altogether).

A dialog box like the one below will likely appear for you on the site in the coming weeks, and will help simplify the process of managing your sharing settings. You can still choose to make individual posts more or less shared going forward, but Facebook is simply making the process of understanding it more concise and clear.


“It’s worse to accidentally overshare than to accidentally undershare,” said product manager Mike Nowak in a statement today.

Selecting the privacy of your posts on mobile has also been updated to more directly face the user, to ensure they make the right choice for their status, photos, or updates.

Finally, the site introduced new anonymous login controls for Facebook and its line of mobile applications. From within, you can manage what apps use what information, and learn how to login to Facebook without issuing any personal information.


This is a major step forward for the company in simplifying and diversifying its approach to how users can share (or not share) their statuses, photos, and other personal information with others. This represents somewhat of a rollback for the network, as in 2009, Facebook changed everyone’s privacy from “Friends Only” to “Public” overnight.

That caused a bit of an uproar. But the defaults are back to the way most users prefer it, and is certainly a good step in the right direction for Facebook when it comes to trust from the users.

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