Facebook makes another change to its privacy settings making users searchable. Facebook announced Thursday that users will lose the ability to opt out of searches.
The setting “Who can look up your Timeline by name?” which allowed users’ profiles to be left out of searches will no longer be available. The option allowed your profile to be unsearchable even if someone searched your specific name. This piece of privacy is going away.
In December of 2012 Facebook began removing this feature only for members who were not taking advantage of it. Now, over the next few weeks, Facebook will be taking away this privacy feature for everyone.
Those of us still using this feature will receive a notice on our homepage telling us of the change. Over the first few weeks of removing this privacy setting Facebook will display a notice when users post anything publically letting you know that your posts could be public. Facebook will also display a prompt to control your audience.
This change means you will no longer have the ability to keep the general public from searching for you by name and viewing your profile. You can still block specific individual users. However, anyone not listed as being specifically blocked from viewing your profile will be able to see you.
This comes in the wake of more than 36 states passing laws over the last 24 months preventing employers from demanding access to both existing and potential employees’ social media sites.