Summary:

Facebook announced a new set of privacy tools and features last week, and those updates will begin rolling out to users in the U.S. starting Thursday night. One of the most significant coming changes is users not being able to hide their profiles from search results.

Facebook app permissions

Facebook will begin rolling out several of the privacy settings it announced Dec. 12 to its users in the United States beginning Thursday night, the company announced in a blog post. The privacy updates announced last week will remove a user’s ability to hide their name from search results, but will also add contextual information to help people understand their own settings as they post information.

There was less focus on Facebook’s privacy updates this week when users turned their attention to Instagram’s updated terms of service, and these changes might seem minor by comparison. But the updates represent moves by the company in an area where users have historically had concerns.

The changes, outlined on Dec. 12, include separating app permissions, so that users enabling third-party apps to have Facebook access can more easily decide what information that app can have. The new settings will also remind users where text or photos will show up on Facebook when posted, and will provide a tool that makes it easier to remove photo tags en masse. The activity log will also provide more information so people can see where their data appears across the site.

The privacy conscious will be most concerned by the removal of the ability to hide names from the search bar, a change that the company said would be rolled out over the coming weeks. Facebook notes that profiles are already appearing all over Facebook when users interact with content, so it’s not a total shift. However, it will be interesting to see if users whose profiles start appearing when they were once hidden raise concerns at the new policy.

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