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Facebook, Google Privacy Changes Announced

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By Aditi Mukherji

Another day, another Facebook and Google privacy policy change. Facebook is axing its privacy option that enables users to be unsearchable. Not to be outdone, Google plans to sell users’ endorsements as a social marketing tool. In a nutshell: Get ready for less privacy and more ads — the best of both worlds! (Sigh.)

Facebook Privacy Change: Showing Up in Search
If you’ve hidden yourself from being searchable on Facebook, get ready to come out of hiding. Facebook, which boasts 1.2 billion users, is removing the option to be unsearchable by name. But some critics, like Josh Constine at TechCrunch, think the move is wise for safety reasons.

Folks like Constine believe the “unsearchable” option lulled users into a false sense of security because people could still find you through a myriad of other ways — tagged photos, Graph Search, mutual friends’ “Friends” lists and even “Likes” on a mutual friend’s News Feed post.

Still, the solution isn’t much better. Rather than having a more universal setting, you’ll have to manually restrict the visibility of each piece of your profile to stay hidden.

Google Privacy Change: Selling Social Endorsements
Under Google’s new terms of service, starting Nov. 11, Google can include your name, photo, and comments in ads shown across the Internet, based on ratings, reviews and posts you’ve made on Google Plus and other Google services like YouTube, reports The New York Times.

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