Actually, that’s not true – they’re worse. Using Facebook’s new “improved” privacy controls, you can tag someone else in photo and then keep them from seeing it. It’s pretty simple; just change the sharing option so they don’t see what you posted. So if you want to tag a picture of a jackass with your friend’s name on it and make it Public, everyone on Facebook will be able to see it except one – the person whose name is on it.
Here’s how the same status update appears to me (top) and the fake profile I’ve tagged in the update (bottom).
See the name that’s missing from the bottom one? That (fake) person would have no idea he’s been tagged in this.
You can turn off the feature that lets other people check you into locations by going into the new privacy controls, selecting How Tags Work, and disabling Friends Can Check You Into Places. But you can’t keep people from tagging you or hiding those tags. And now, Facebook allows anybody and their dog to tag you, not just your friends.
Maybe this a bug. Maybe it’s just a strange alignment of the social media planets that affects only me. But if it’s not a bug or a planetary misalignment, it’s not good.
Really, though, what Facebook is spinning as “privacy controls” is actually something much sneakier, I think. The biggest thing they’ve done is embed tagging and Facebook Places into status updates, making it easier to tell people where you are, what you’re doing, and with whom.
I am sure many Facebook fans would see this as a benefit, but it ain’t privacy enhancing. And the ability to claim you were someplace with someone – and block that person from viewing your post, so they could refute or remove it – is wrong. I’m hoping this is just a glitch or just a mistake on my part. I can't believe even Facebook would do this intentionally.
TY4NS blogger Dan Tynan is feeling a big soggier than usual after the hurricane. Visit his snarky, occasionally NSFW blog eSarcasm or follow him on Twitter:@tynan_on_tech. For the latest IT news, analysis and how-to’s, follow ITworld on Twitter and Facebook.