Facebook decided to end the feature that allows some users to go invisible to other social network’s billion members. Last year, it was announced to be removed for new users, but still remain enabled for a ‘small percentage’ of members.
The feature, similar to Harry Potter’s ‘invisible cloak’ is about to be completely removed effective on November 11, in its updated terms of service. This means that every signed in member of the social network could then be easily found in search results.
Michael Richter, chief privacy officer of Facebook said, “The setting was created when Facebook was a simple directory of profiles and it was very limited. For example, people told us that they found it confusing when they tried looking for someone who they knew personally and couldn’t find them in search results, or when two people were in a Facebook Group and then couldn’t find each other through search.”
He said that it should not affect the user’s overall privacy. “Whether you’ve been using the setting or not, the best way to control what people can find about you on Facebook is to choose who can see the individual things you share,” he added.
Recently, Facebook repaired its search functions and included a ‘graph search’ which allows a wide range searching of posts on the social network.
In other news, Google meanwhile announced that it was following Facebook’s lead of using profile pictures in endorsing product ads. However, according to the Electronic Privacy Information Center, it might violate a 2011 agreement with the Federal Trade Commission, since it would employ images without the user’s consent, which is required of Google before disclosing information to third parties.
“Recommendations from people you know can really help. So your friends, family and others may see your profile name and photo, and content like the reviews you share or the ads you (liked).” Google said that this feature is optional and they will not use endorsements from users under the legal age.