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Facebook tweaks privacy setting: Now anyone can find you

12 October 2013, 9:00 am EDT By Anne Patterson Tech Times
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Facebook users will no longer be able to deploy the useful privacy option, which enabled one to opt out of being found in searches.

In the "coming weeks," Facebook users will be in for a rude awakening when the "Who can look up your Timeline by name option" is removed.

So what does this mean? Basically, that now anyone can seek you out. Previously, the setting enabled users to hide their Timeline i.e. profile from public view. Members could control if they could be found, as well as who could search for them when their name was keyed into the Facebook search bar, but not anymore.

The social networking site announced the change on Thursday, October 10, via a blog post.

"The search setting was removed last year for people who weren't using it," wrote Michael Richter, Facebook's Chief Privacy Officer, in a blog post on Thursday. "For the small percentage of people still using the setting, they will see reminders about it being removed in the coming weeks,"

The move should not come as a surprise as in December 2012, Facebook announced that it would obliterate the privacy setting which let members not appear in search results. The feature was eliminated automatically at the time for users who did not select the option.

According to the site, only a miniscule number of people "in single digits" were availing the "Who can look up your Timeline by name option." The feature was intended to keep non-friends from searching for a member, but now any Facebook user can search for any other member sans restrictions.

Now, post the change in privacy settings, the popular social network reveals that the the best way to control privacy and what is visible is by making individual filters.

"Whether you've been using the setting or not, the best way to control what people can find about you on Facebook is to choose who can see the individual things you share," notes Richter in the blog post.

The tweaking of the privacy setting is a double-edged sword and while many, who choose to be anonymous, would not be pleased, others would welcome the change. Facebook is seen by many as a digital directory where a user can connect and/or reconnect with an individual. From this perspective, this move will be welcomed as now one can track down anyone they want, unless they're using an alias and do not have a Facebook account!

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