From the Facebook blog post Updates on Your New Privacy Tools

Can I limit access to my Friend List?

Many of you have mentioned that you want a way to hide your list of friends. In response to your feedback, we've removed the "View Friends" link from search results, making your Friend List less visible on the site.

In addition, you can further limit the visibility of your Friend List to other people on Facebook if you want. After you've completed the transition to the new privacy settings, you'll be able to click on the pencil icon in the top-right corner of the "Friends" box on your profile. Unchecking "Show my friends on my profile" will prevent your Friend List from appearing in your profile when it is viewed by people who are logged in to Facebook. Keep in mind, however, that because Friend List is publicly available, it will be visible to people who are viewing your profile while not logged in. Again, you will only have this option once you've completed the transition to the new privacy settings.

Remember, you can also limit who can find you in searches on Facebook and control whether your information can be indexed by public search engines under "Search" on the Privacy Settings page.

That's awesome. I didn't realize when I joined Facebook that the service would retroactively decide that my list of friends was public knowledge and then would add a privacy setting to "hide" it from Facebook users that could be worked around by logging out. Join me as I say goodbye to my old privacy settings and old public version of my Facebook profile which kept my private information private.

R.I.P. Old Facebook Privacy settings

R.I.P. Old Facebook Public Profile


Thursday, December 10, 2009 11:51:55 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
There's a huge complexity burden associated with privacy settings.

It used to be if you didn't want someone to know something, you didn't tell them.

You could simply say it to someone else.

Privacy was always implicit and transparent. We were able to handle it automatically, without conscious thought. We just kept our voices down. Now our interactions are happening online, and we as users are being forced to pick up the complexity tab.
I don't think it's just a faulty tool problem - I think it's genuinely a new kind of work that we have generated. It's a side effect of performing private interactions over a globally public medium.

Facebook are mired in a losing battle; if they offer up fine-grained, comprehensive privacy settings, the complexity will be prohibitive for all but a very few (and hey, they never got an account anyway because they were too cautious).

The answer of course, is good (restrictive) default settings.

But that doesn't work either, because if you make the defaults restrictive, the settings will *still* be too complex for everyone, and the site experience will suffer because people aren't being engaged to the same degree.

It's a conflict of interest for Facebook, because they hold the keys to our privacy, but they're the ones who want everyone as engaged and as chatty as possible.

Facebook is already nagging us to engage our friends more.

Personally, though, I think the real travesty is the level of access that Applications have. There's no way to distinguish between my friends and their apps.Yikes.
Friday, December 11, 2009 12:55:47 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
I question the sanity of those who let this design through.

Behaviour like that clearly says <b>Back to the Drawing Board</b>.
Mike Gale
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