Facebook introduces new privacy settings even as its policies change

Facebook Privacy Settings
Stop private eyes from watching you

On Wednesday, Facebook introduced a handful of new privacy controls to allow users better customization of what information is shared, and how it's shared, on the social network.

These updates, scheduled to roll out to everyone by the end of 2012, will provide the necessary tools for users to better understand what information appears where.

Additionally, the features will help users to remove or block content they may want kept from prying eyes.

Curiously, the new security measures are coming as Facebook moves to enact new privacy policies, which will change the way the company itself shares user data.

Shortcuts to security

Among the ways users will be able to better manage their online profiles are new privacy shortcuts, which Facebook said will streamline the process.

Previously, users had to navigate multiple pages to adjust settings for their Timeline, but options for "Who can see my stuff?" and "Who can contact me?" will soon be added to the top toolbar.

App permissions will also change, and be easier to manage when the update arrives.

As of now, the first time an app is used, it asks to access a profile and sometimes posts to a given timeline in one window.

When the update arrives, those questions will be separate, allowing users to grant permissions to the app for one or the other question, rather than being handcuffed to saying "yes" to both immediately.

Activity management made easy

While an easier user interface is going to be a big part of the new way privacy settings are handled on Facebook, the network will also provide better contextual education.

To assist in helping its users better understand how privacy works on the site, new messages will appear to provide better information about who can still see posts, and where others can see them.

The Activity Log will get an overhaul as well, which includes new navigation and new sorting options to better manage the way a user appears across the social network.

There, users will be able to see Facebook activity including tagged photos and posts, and learn where they appear on the network outside of the Timeline.

Inside the Activity Log will also be a new Request and Removal tool, which will make it easier to find things users don't want on Facebook, and get in touch with the poster to have either the tag removed, or the content pulled entirely.

Of course, it will still be up to the original poster of the material to make such a move, but having the option built into the privacy settings is a welcome touch.

Whether these new features will be enough to sate those upset with Facebook's new privacy policies remains to be seen, but at least the social network is taking some steps to make sure managing what is shared is a whole lot easier.