Facebook Removes Last Privacy Option Settings and Google+ Might Start Using You in Ads
If you hope to keep anything private, it is probably better to stay off the Internet altogether. If a “bunker” isn’t the best option for you and just can't help yourself, you need to know that both Facebook and Google+ are making changes to their privacy settings.
Facebook has just made it impossible to hide from crazy ex-friends, ex-bosses, and even that bully that tormented you in the 4th grade. Whereas before you could choose whether or not you wanted to show up in search results, the new policy allows anyone to be found using the site's search function.
The company said they made the change because they have had complaints that two people might be in the same Facebook Group, but still can't find each other with a search. They also said that people were "confused" when they tried to find a friend, but couldn't find them in search results (neglecting the fact that this was the whole purpose of the privacy setting in the first place—shouldn't it be up to you if you want to be found or not?).
They also said that a "single digit percentage" of users were taking advantage of this privacy setting anyway. Of course, at 1.2 billion users, this could mean 12 million people (1% of 1.2 billion) or it could mean 108 million people (9% of 1.2 billion)—a significant number either way.
If you are curious as to what others are seeing when they find your Facebook page, check out the site's "View As" feature, which you can find on your profile page's "Activity Log" drop down menu.
Of course, if you are really concerned about Facebook's new rules about privacy (of lack of privacy), you can email the Chief Privacy Officer of Policy—just note that, ironically, "for privacy and security reasons, [she] cannot respond to specific questions about your account."
Google+ also recently sent out an email specifying changes regarding what information it shares about you. It will allow you to opt out of "Shared Endorsements," meaning if your Google+ page follows another page publicly, you can choose whether or not you want your name and photo to appear in ads that are on that page.
This means that, in theory, if you don't pay attention to your settings, you could see your name and face “hawking” products in ads without being paid a single cent.
However, your profile can still show up in other places such as Google Play, and you can't opt out of this.
But at least you have the option of turning off the "Shared Endorsements" feature, right?
How to turn off Shared Endorsements
1. If you would like to disable this feature, Google+ users can sign into their Google Account, and go into the "Shared Endorsements" setting page.
2. Find the box next to “Based upon my activity, Google may show my name and profile photo in shared endorsements that appear in ads.”
3.Uncheck the box and click “Save.”
Perhaps the bigger story here is to watch what you put on the Internet if you are afraid it will be seen by the wrong person or any person.
Here s how Facebook could add billions to their bottom line in a heartbeat. They could charge a small fee to allow people to protect their privacy from -- Facebook. Remember you read it here, first—I hope Google+ puts my picture next to my own idea before Facebook steals it. That's Margaret Ross.
(This article appeared earlier this week on Jenningswire, where Margaret is a regular writer and contributor.)