Facebook Enables Privacy Options For Old Profile Pics & Finally Honors Photo Deletion Requests

If you were tired of blocking all of your profile photos instead of just the select embarrassing ones, Facebook finally made a fix that will please you. You can now set a privacy setting for each individual photo in your Profile Photos album instead of applying a universal privacy setting across all your pics.

To access the new controls, just click on the photo in question and then click the ‘Edit’ on the left.

This privacy widget on each photo puts your Profile Photos album in its own special category alongside Mobile Uploads and gives users much more control over what pictures the public can and cannot see. However, keep in mind that your cover photos are still visible to everyone. It’s probably a good idea to keep those pictures from the strip club last weekend off of those public platforms, but you probably already knew that.

For the rest of your photo albums, the old privacy guidelines still apply, which means one privacy setting will be placed on all pictures in the album. This isn’t an issue as long as you keep your naughty vs. nice pictures in separate albums. Just make an album dedicated to you building houses for Habitat for Humanity and helping old ladies cross the street and you should be good.

Still, the added control is a good feature, even if it is just for your Profile Photos album. Any time the user can gain a modicum of privacy control from Facebook, it’s a victory.

Facebook Finally Gets Around to Deleting Pictures

Facebook has long been criticized for hanging on to its users’ deleted photos for way, way too long. In some cases, it took years, plural, for Facebook to delete photos from its content delivery network (CDN), and sometimes not even then. However, that practice appears to have changed.

Previously, if a user saved the direct URL of a picture they had deleted on Facebook, it could still be accessed online. “As a result of work on our policies and infrastructure, we have instituted a ‘max-age’ of 30 days for our CDN links,” Facebook spokesperson Frederic Wolens told Ars Technica earlier this week. “However, in some cases the content will expire on the CDN much more quickly, based on a number of factors.”

This is a step in the right direction for solidifying Facebook’s privacy settings, but this begs the question: what the heck took so long? How could such a glaring privacy issue have gone unaddressed for so many years, and especially after the company went public in February? The fact that Facebook has shareholders should make them a tad more responsible to their users, but they still act as opaque and monolithic about their privacy functions as always. I don’t think anyone honestly believes that Facebook hangs on to photos for nefarious reasons, but they have no reason to drag their feet about deleting them, either. However, it appears that at least this one issue has finally been corrected.

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