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Facebook responds to privacy concerns

Hamish Barwick | April 14, 2014
The social media company is testing a privacy checkup message

He added that it is testing a similar idea on Android and iPhone devices over the next few months.

He said that the company has also received feedback from users that it could be more communicative about privacy in real time.

Facebook ran tests with a "select group" of users about the Privacy Checkup. However, he would not disclose how many users it ran the test with.

"Eighty per cent of the people who got this message said they found it useful. This is the type of thing we are going to experiment with because it can lead to a better privacy experience."

Nowak said it started testing Privacy Checkup earlier this year but would not provide any further details on when it might be rolled out to all Facebook users worldwide.

"We are not providing any specific numbers around the privacy stuff today. We're more focused on explaining our roadmap today," he said.

Cover photo

Nowak confirmed that the company will be rolling out a test to enable users to set their past cover photo to private. This was based on user feedback.

"The current cover photo will remain part of publicly available information, just like names and current profile photos. Over the coming weeks, we are going to rollout the ability to set privacy on past cover photos," he said.

"We don't think there is a single privacy experience that we can build that will make privacy perfect in all cases for everyone on the surface.

"By making improvements to the user experience, based on feedback, privacy will get better over time."


Turning to the subject of privacy after a Facebook user dies, Facebook Australia and New Zealand head of policy Mia Garlick told Computerworld Australia that it has a process for creating a memorial account.

"Families can request your account is memorialised which lets them maintain an online memory of you.

In response to feedback from parents who wanted to get access to the [10 year anniversary of Facebook] Lookback video about a deceased son or daughter, we have rolled out a feature that will allow them access," she said.

"Alternatively, the family can ask for your account to be deleted. When your page goes into memorial status, only friends and family can still see the account."


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