Facebook recently announced new changes in its privacy settings. Early critics are already clamoring that the increase in security will bring new potential concerns. New features include additional safety prompts, user-friendly interfaces and significant changes for the Facebook mobile app.
First feature of note is an anonymous login option. This will be especially of interest to those who don’t appreciate assorted apps asking for Facebook information at the login screen. The Facebook anonymous login function became available as of April 30 although not everyone noticed.
Users are now able to connect to any Facebook-enabled app without giving out their personal information. This will also enable users to eliminate those game post updates that automatically appear on your Facebook wall.
The next new feature is what Facebook calls a “privacy dinosaur”. This is a Facebook blue dinosaur pop-up that reminds users when they are about to make a public post. Since its initial release late last month it has been updated to include a privacy checkup instrument that allows “long-time users” to once again go over their “sharing settings”.
According to a recent Facebook statement on its website the company said they want to do all they can “to put power and control in people’s hands. This new tool is designed to help people make sure they are sharing with just the audience they want. Everything about how privacy works on Facebook remains the same.”
Facebook also claims to now be more “newcomer-friendly”. Critics have long claimed that the Facebook interface was a bit “busy-looking”. Some even felt that the multitude of settings could be “intimidating’ to newcomers.
Originally, if a new user failed to immediately change his/her privacy settings all his/her posts would be publically displayed. Facebook agreed: “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.”
In order to deal with that issue and provide newcomers with additional security, the company altered its default privacy settings. New users will now be advised to choose their specific audience when they attempt to make their first post. Otherwise, the default setting will now be set on “only with friends.”
Finally, online sources indicate that in addition to the above-mentioned changes, Facebook now has a “microphone”. Critics are concerned about the fact that Facebook can now listen to users and their environment. Facebook will soon be able to use the mobile app to turn on your smartphone microphone whenever it wishes providing you have the optional feature activated.
Whether you’re at home on your easy chair watching “Mad Men” or in your car listening to The Rolling Stones, the microphone will pick up what you’re doing so that you can “share and discover music, TV and movies” with all your Facebook friends without having to type out a status report.
While the company currently claims that it does not presently store the recordings, another Facebook employee reported to that the audio will not only be saved but aggregated as well. Hence, Facebook, the company so newly-concerned with your privacy will know exactly what users are doing. On a lighter note, perhaps now when users are in financial straits they can borrow a few bucks from their “big brother” Mark Zuckerberg.