Facebook rejiggered its privacy settings last week to ensure that users can no longer make themselves unsearchable on the site’s new Graph Search function. However, as CNET reported last week, the policy change also guaranteed that users can no longer hide their profile pictures, cover photos or personal networks from anyone searching for them.
“Your name, gender, username, user ID (account number), profile picture, cover photo and networks (if you choose to add these) are available to anyone since they are essential to helping you connect with your friends and family,” Facebook said in a post on its Help Center. Before the changes, users’ display names and networks were the only publicly available information in searches.
The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) has already filed a complaint against Facebook with the Federal Trade Commission, saying that users can no longer hide their information from third-party applications even if they want to. However, despite the changes, users can still prevent their data from ending up in the hands of apps.
Users should delete any apps they aren’t using, and they can also access Facebook’s App Privacy Settings page if they have questions about securing their data. Facebook also offers an App Settings page that allows users to control what information apps can access. Now is as good a time as ever to look over your privacy settings and ensure your personal information remains as hidden as possible.