The Washington Post reports that Facebook is announcing new privacy features that would allow users to distinguish between friends, family and coworkers, for instance, and set different access levels for different groups. Now that the Facebook generation is entering the workforce, this should help them recognize that those drunken photos they had no problem sharing with college buddies probably shouldn’t be available to coworkers and managers. On the other hand, Facebook is also providing a feature that lets friends of friends view profiles. And since only 25% of their users even make use of their existing privacy controls, I don’t think we’ll see reports of firings based on those drunken photos diminish any time soon.
One thing the article doesn’t discuss . . . and what seems to supply a never-ending source of gossip blog fodder, is the ability to access even privacy-controlled elements if you’ve got the URL link directly to that item. Just requires one friend to sell you out.
Also, with Beacon and behavioral targeting beefing up on the site, will the contents of chats be a source of targeting information?