In March, Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg told my former colleague Marshall Kirkpatrick that the key to privacy was granular control over various aspects of your information. “He said people have been trained to believe that there is a binary set of options concerning privacy and sharing of data: that some things are sharable and others are not,” wrote Kirkpatrick.
Zuckerberg has certainly delivered, but while Facebook’s privacy controls have become increasingly granular — which is great for the consumer — they’ve also become increasingly more complex — which is not.
Inside Facebook noticed that Facebook launched a new feature to help users keep a handle on their complex privacy settings: Profile Preview. Via an option on the profile privacy settings page users can now get a view of how any of their friends see their profile. That’s helpful because you can instantly check which settings you’ve applied to which of your friends — did you remember to make sure your boss can’t see those party photos? What else can your boss see?
Facebook’s profile privacy settings have eight separate options now that can be controlled at a user-by-user level, so the preview feature should be helpful for keeping track of who see’s what and making sure profile settings are set correctly for each user you want to restrict some access from.
Josh Catone joined Mashable in May 2009 and is Executive Director of Editorial Projects. Before joining Mashable, Josh was the Lead Writer at ReadWriteWeb, the Lead Blogger at SitePoint, and the Community Evangelist at DandyID.