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Thursday, February 18, 2010
New Privacy Controls for Facebook Applications

Facebook has made available some of its most recent privacy controls to applications on Facebook and websites and services using Facebook Connect.

Last December, Facebook launched a control for some time - the ability to customize privacy for each piece of content users share on through the Publisher, including status updates, links, photos and videos. Today, Facebook is extending that same level of control to content shared through applications.

There are now granular privacy options that enable users to personalize the audience for each piece of content they share through applications. Users are able to simply select the group of people they want to share with from the drop-down menu near the lock icon on the Publisher on their home page or profile, or the prompts that appear when they share from applications or Facebook Connect websites.

"For example, maybe you don't want all of your friends to see the humorous greeting card you just posted from an application. Now you can set that post to be viewable only by certain friends," said Facebook engineer Ray He.

Alternatively, there are some posts users may want to share with the broadest audience possible, such as information on an important organization they're supporting in the Causes application.

These new controls give users the power to determine who sees the content you post to Facebook through any third-party application, whether it is on, their desktop, mobile phone, or from a Facebook Connect website or service. Seesmic, a desktop application from which users can view and update their News Feed, will soon offer extended privacy options so users can specify audiences for each update theyr make from the application, such as uploaded photos and status updates.

Applications on and external websites and services using Facebook Connect implementations have always respected users' privacy based on what they have 've set in the "Posts by Me" setting on your Privacy Settings page. This setting will continue to be a default setting for all posts, Facebook said.

"You may also start to see additional prompts in applications asking if you'd like to set privacy for certain pieces of content that differ from your default setting. Whether you choose to keep your default setting on everything you share or change the audience for different pieces of content, the choice is yours," Ray He added.

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