New Facebook features address privacy concernsUsers given greater control over their profiles

24 August 2011


Facebook will introduce a number of new features that give users greater control over their profiles. The roll out of the changes will begin tomorrow and 'take a few weeks'.

The new features include an approval system for any new content that appears on the user's profile. This means that the user will have control of all content on their profile pages, including posts about them or images of them uploaded by others.

Photo tags and comments referring to the user will appear in a Pending Posts section for the user to approve. Facebook believes this more proactive approach is a better method than the current system by which users can only delete content after it has been published.

If you're concerned about online security and privacy, you can find a wealth of advice from Which? Start with our safety online guide.

Users can request posts to be removed

Facebook will also introduce a new feature that goes beyond the current ability users have of 'de-tagging' themselves from posts. Users will still be able to 'de-tag' themselves, but will also be able to use the new reporting options that ask the friend who published the post to simply either 'de-tag' them or remove the post or picture altogether.

Facebook also claims that users will now have greater control over who sees what. The new menu structure and tools makes it easier to manage who can access particular information about the user, according to Facebook. The term 'Everyone' will also be dropped in favour of the term 'Public', to avoid confusion.

Which? technology expert, Ben Stevens, said: 'Many Facebook users have concerns about the personal content about them, which they currently have little control over on Facebook. These new features address a number of those concerns and give much-needed control back to the individual, whose personal information was previously at risk of being abused.

'We'll be watching closely to see how the new features are integrated, how effectively they perform, and whether any new threats arise or previous concerns remain. We are pleased to see Facebook taking steps towards looking after their users' online personal identities, and addressing their complaints.'

Tag locations and 'like' or comment on non-friends pages

Facebook will also introduce new features that will allow users to respond to posts made by non-friends, and comments made on all pages including those that aren't 'liked'. Any posts made on an individual's wall will appear in the Pending Posts folder for the individual's approval.

Users will also be able to tag locations, a feature that Facebook describes as being a development of the current 'Check In' feature.

Stay up-to-date with all the latest technology news on our new Which? Tech Daily blog

How to follow the latest Which? Tech news

Are you a Twitter user? Follow WhichTech on Twitter for regular tech tweets.

Prefer RSS? Don't miss a thing with the Which? tech RSS feed

For just the main headlines in newsletter form, sign-up to our weekly Which? tech email.

Apple iPad 2 3G data plans compared - find the best 3G plan for your iPad
Best Android tablets round-up - we look at the best iPad alternatives around
Best cheap laptops for under £500 - find the best laptop deals