An Email-Privacy Surprise from Facebook An Email-Privacy Surprise from Facebook

When did you last check your Facebook profile? If it was long ago then go and check your email settings. Whoa, you might get really surprised. The Facebook team, probably being overconcerned about the privacy matter, have set the status of all your personal emails but @facebook.com to 'Hidden from Timeline'. This adjustment is set as a default one and is applied to all accounts regardless of previously chosen settings for the email-privacy options.

Your Facebook mail is visible to those with the permission to view your previous emails. Thus, this move looks more like a poorly planned attempt to increase the usage of Facebook email addresses, which didn't previously show to be that popular.

For me, even though I do not use my account to share the contact information with my friends, this intrusion into my personal preferences without any notifications is totally unacceptable.

Facebook have brought a lot of inconveniences with these changes – no doubt. Besides, I don't really see why they needed these changes so badly: the users could make their emails invisible eons ago. Why should anything be changed?

How to Restore the Settings?

Of course, if you do not like the new way your emails are displayed in your profile, you can reset everything, but you'll have to do it manually.

In order to change the email settings, you have to enter your Timeline and go to 'About' link right below your personal info. On the Info page, look for the Contact Info section and click on the Edit button. After that, move your mouse to the top right part of the page and change settings for all personal email addresses: either 'Hidden from Timeline' or 'Shown on Timeline', choosing who you'd like to see it, etc. You may also hide your @facebook.com address if you want to.

Could They Have Done It Better?

Well, the Facebook team didn't speak out about the controversial changes, so their actions can be treated ambiguously. It is hard to say what their intentions really were: whether they really wanted to protect their users' privacy or tried to promote their mailing system. Whatever their true motives were, they failed in a really big way.

The concern about privacy is the right thing, but it shouldn't be overdone. It would be better if the users would have been informed about the upcoming changes before those were rolled out, possibly accompanied by detailed explanations of how you can change or reverse the new settings. And I do firmly believe that if you can't do something the right way better not do it at all.

And if you ask me to draw the bottom line, I'll tell you what: Facebook could have done it better.

What is your opinion about the changes?

Comments

Desert Kitty

So if I haven't moved to the "Timeline" option, am I still affected??

 –  11 years ago  –  Was it helpful? yes | no (0)
Hloy Dranks

Yes, it seems. It can be easily verified in your profile email settings. I, for example, found out that I do have a Facebook mail granted to me by the developers while checking if the changes mentioned above were done.

 –  11 years ago  –  Was it helpful? yes | no (0)
Danford Blitz

I like the way you've defined the point: Facebook could have done it better. I'll put it in similar words: Facebook could have never done it. I find this an evil deed as I value my privacy and I don't want everyone to know my email.
Despite that, sometimes it could be even convenient to get aware of some address when you were in need to contact somebody and you didn't know other ways.
Anyway, it's up to a person to decide to show or to hide their email.

 –  11 years ago  –  Was it helpful? yes | no (0)