Damn Facebook And Its Lack Of Privacy!
First, it’s not new. These profiles already show up in the search results (not “in a few weeks” to give everyone time to fix their privacy settings). But they’re unlikely to rank for a name search unless there’s not much else out there that’s relevant.
But also, how underwhelming can you get? This is the same information that you could always get from doing a Facebook search, only now you can potentially get that information from the much noisier major engine search results that are likely to include information about you that’s much more private than your name and whatever picture you’ve chosen to upload to your profile.
If you have profiles on just about any other site out there, those are already in search results and are showing lots more information than your name and picture — and it’s likely information you want shown, like your web site. Facebook’s announcement would be a little more interesting if they actually did what they are claiming and let us control our public search listing by allowed us to choose what parts of our profile — beyond our name and picture — could be viewed.
Of course, now I’m just complaining about the same old thing I always do. I want permission management. I want my limited profile options to be more granular. I want Buffy on the air again. I want a goldfish.
The one thing that Facebook gives away (and this isn’t new either) is your friends list. It’s odd that they don’t show any of the profile information that every other site in the world displays, but they give away your friends, which almost no other sites do. This is easily fixed. In your search privacy settings, uncheck the box that says “View your friends list”. And in your profile privacy settings, change the Friends viewing option to “only my friends”. The only way to keep your friends from viewing your other friends is by setting them to view your limited profile and then turning the friends option off there.
If you care about privacy of your Facebook information, you might consider the network you’re in too. By default, everyone in your network can see everything. I’m in the Seattle network. That’s a lot of people. If you’re in your work network, you may not have added your boss as a friend, but she may be able to see everything anyway.
Speaking of seeing everything, if you poke someone who isn’t your friend, that pokee can see everything in your profile for a week. I guess this is so you can poke someone you think might be your friend — only you can’t tell because you can’t even see the person’s web site! — so that person can check you out and say, oh I should add this person as my friend. Or something like that. By default, anyone you send a message to who isn’t your friend can see everything also.
And about those messages, if you don’t want everyone in the entire world to message you, you can go to the search privacy section and uncheck “Send me a message”.
As an aside, I like that one of the options for deactivating your account is “Facebook is resulting in social drama for me.” The sheep throwing, it just gets to be too much.