10 Dec 2009

Facebook moves to give users more privacy control

4:00 pm on 10 December 2009

The social networking site Facebook has introduced new procedures giving its 350 million members more control over their private information.

Members will have to specify exactly who is allowed to view updates, photos and videos on their personal pages.

This is the latest in a string of changes that have been made to the site's privacy policy this year, the BBC reports. Earlier this year, Facebook responded to criticism over the way it handled users' data by opening up the site's policies to users.

One new feature - the ability to control who sees every post made - has been introduced after a stream of requests from users.

Choice of three categories required

Users will now be required to select a privacy setting for each piece of content, from updates to photos, meaning they can tailor their posts for specific audiences.

They will be asked to choose one of three categories; friends, friends of friends, or everyone.

The change means information can be shared with a wider internet audience as search engines increasingly integrate content from social media sites into search results.

Rival social media site Twitter makes all information viewable to the public.

In a first for an internet firm, Facebook will require users to update their general privacy settings. It reckons that only 15 to 20% of users have ever adjusted their settings.