Facebook wants you to run a quick privacy checkup on your profile


Meet Charlie: Facebook's dinosaur privacy guide. (Courtesy of Facebook)

Facebook announced Thursday that it will expand to all users its "Privacy Checkup" feature, the how-to privacy setup tool featuring a cartoon dinosaur that was introduced as a pilot program this spring. Facebook said its users will see an alert pop up on their news feeds within the next few days that reminds them to run a quick audit of their privacy settings.

It's unusual for Facebook to break into users' news feeds with what is, essentially, a maintenance message. But after the social network first introduced the privacy checkup program in May, the company said that the majority of its testers clicked on, used and even completed the program to customize their privacy settings — i.e., all of those complicated menus that govern which of your Facebook friends, or members of the general public, can see what you're sharing on the site.

"We know you come to Facebook to connect with friends, not with us," said Facebook product manager Paddy Underwood in a company blog post. "But we also know how important it is to be in control of what you share and who you share with."

The privacy checkup also walks users through the settings of who can see what they do with apps that connect with Facebook, such as Spotify or Candy Crush Saga.

Privacy woes have plagued Facebook in the past — once resulting in a settlement with the FTC over privacy policy changes — but the company has done more in recent months to show users how to adjust their settings. The company has also given users more granular control over what they see and what they share with other users and, in some cases, with other companies.  The amount of data users share with Facebook, however, is as wide-ranging as ever.

 

Have more to say on this topic? Join us today for our weekly live chat, Switchback. We'll kick things off at 11 a.m. Eastern. You can submit your questions now, right here.

Hayley Tsukayama covers consumer technology for The Washington Post.
Comments
Show Comments
Most Read Business
Next Story
Hayley Tsukayama · September 4