In our last blog post about the Facebook timeline we asked the question – when will Facebook learn that users want to move towards privacy, not away from it?
A spokesperson from Facebook’s PR team responded to our privacy question saying:
"People have control over everything that appears on their timeline. With timeline, people will have access to a tool called "Activity Log" that helps them control the things they’ve shared on Facebook. Only you can see your Activity Log. You can use it to easily review and choose who sees what you’ve shared on your timeline."
As convincing as that may sound, a large amount of Facebook users are unconvinced about the timeline’s privacy options. There’s no running away from the new timeline taking over your profile, but that doesn’t mean you have to stop disliking it.
Sophos has released results from a poll taken from 4000 Facebook users about the timeline. The survey reveals that more than 50% of users are concerned about the Facebook profile update.
The Timeline’s format encourages a user to enter more personal information about their life and experiences and makes it easier for others to view the information. This is raising concern that it will make it easier for stalkers and identity thieves to target individuals.
Also, the timeline will be automatically updated through Facebook applications. This means that when you listen and read articles online they are shown without you pressing the share or like button.
Photo Credit: Diego Grez
"If nothing else, Facebook users should take this opportunity to re-evaluate what they share online. It is time to spring clean your Facebook account and online friend relationships, and ensures that you are only sharing what you want to share, with who you want to share it with. After all, a website which holds details on your entire life, likes and loves, is gold dust to scammers," said Sophos Senior tech consultant, Graham Cluley.
In the Sophos poll only 8 percent of people reported liking the new Facebook timeline. Another 8 % said they are willing to get used it. Interestingly enough, 32% reported they don’t even know why they are on Facebook.
Some Facebook users are so turned off by the privacy issues the timeline creates that they have opted out of using the social networking site completely.
"The Facebook timeline will be a wake-up call to some that they have shared too much in the past, too freely. In my case, the timeline was the catalyst to reassess my relationship with Facebook – and so I’ve killed my account," said Cluley.
The mandatory timeline won’t affect Facebook from still being the No. 1 social networking site anytime soon but as the timeline sets in for all users it will be interesting to see how many will be giving Facebook the finger.