If you’re one of the stalwart few who have held on to your non-Timeline Facebook page, here’s some news that might give you reason to wait as long as you can: apparently most of the people who gleefully jumped into the Timeline drink are concerned about the privacy of their information.
I’m not really clear why having the Timeline would increase anybody’s privacy anxiety more than having a non-Timeline page, especially since a simply conversion to Timeline contains all of the same info of non-Timeline page (I am so tired of typing the word “Timeline” right now). If any additional information exist on your Timeline, it’s because users elected to add it willingly. Facebook didn’t mind meld to you in order to figure out when you graduated high school or who your first kiss was.
At any rate, ZDNet is reporting via a study by Webroot that at least 88% of Timeline users are worried about their privacy. I suppose that shouldn’t be terribly surprising since most people in general don’t feel very safe on the world’s favorite social networking site. According to ZDNET, the most popular explanation for people’s wariness about Timeline is that it’s an automatic, opt-in feature.
If you’re a new user, yes, it is opt-in, but then again, if you’re new and Timeline was all you ever knew, how would you ever actually know the difference? Second, not every last Facebook user has been swept into the Timeline era. I, for one, do not have it, nor do several of my friends on the site. According to a Facebook spokesperson, the Timeline will eventually be applied to everybody’s account whether they’re ready for it or not, but Facebook doesn’t have an exact launch date for the full conversion just yet.
The puzzling concern over Timeline’s security doesn’t really seem enough to sound the alarm bells, though, as nearly half of the survey’s participants didn’t even do anything to adjust their privacy settings when Timeline was adopted.
Facebook does have an annoying habit of opting-in everybody into public settings whenever they roll out a new redesign, but the privacy settings are all still there. At this point in the game, it’s a good practice to get into of periodically checking your Facebook security settings just to make sure you’re not unknowingly posting lewd videos in public where your aunts and uncles will see them.
Does anybody actually consider Timeline to be a more porous user-interface when it comes to your Facebook account? If so, why?