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New Facebook Privacy Controls

Here at ProfHacker, we’ve done our best to keep up with the various Facebook privacy changes as they have taken place on our watch. Julie wrote two posts in 2009: “Managing Facebook Privacy Settings” and “Managing Facebook Privacy Settings (round 2).” Earlier this year, Brian provided us with “Six Steps for Checking Your Facebook Privacy.”

Facebook reports that it has over 750 million users, and–to put it mildly–that represents an enormous amount of information being shared online. Are you sure you know who gets to access the information you post? The social networking service hasn’t exactly been free from criticism over the choices it has made with regard to user privacy.

Well, as the New York Times reported on Tuesday, Facebook has introduced a new set of what they say are easier-to-use controls for users’ privacy. Before, users had to click their way to a specific “Privacy Settings” page and adjust individual settings for things like status updates, photos, profile information, and other items. The latest changes, by contrast, put those settings “inline, right next to the posts, photos and tags they affect,” as explained in a very detailed post on the official Facebook blog.

So where are these new controls? They haven’t appeared in everyone’s account just yet. According to the blog update, “[t]hese changes will start to roll out in the coming days. When they reach you, you’ll see a prompt for a tour that walks you through these new features from your homepage.” I, for one, do not have access to these controls, yet. I would guess that they’ll become more widely available over the next week or so.

For more information, check out the Facebook blog post announcing these changes.

How about you? Are you a Facebook user? If so, what steps do you take to ensure your privacy? Do you have access to the new controls, yet? If so, let’s hear from you in the comments.

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