The more things change, the more they stay the same.
With Facebook about to let everyone go deeper with search to see who likes what, who you took photos with in 2009, and where you’ve checked in over the past few years, you might be forgiven for wondering how Graph Search might impact your privacy.
The fact is, nothing much changes. The updated search function is customized to every person on Facebook. You can only search things people have shared with you, or items that are publicly available. Similarly, if you’ve chosen to hide your Facebook likes or relationship status, or made your photos only visible to friends, only people with whom you’ve shared that information will be able to view it in search results.
To stamp out the burning embers of the latest privacy flame before it has a chance to become a forest fire, Facebook posted a video explaining what it all means.
Long story short, through your profile settings, privacy options on individual posts, or your Activity, Log, you can control who sees what, just as you’ve been able to do for some time.
Graph Search will certainly make it easier to learn more about your friends and other people on Facebook, but you won’t be able to view anything you didn’t already have access to.
The bigger privacy question lies with Instagram. This week, new Instagram privacy rules come into effect that allow it to better share data with parent company Facebook.
If you’ve connected your Instagram account to Facebook, your Instagram photos and location data won’t show up in Graph Search just yet, but there’s every likelihood they will as Facebook builds out the new function and tries to centralize everything everyone’s ever shared with the community.
At the press conference announcing Graph Search Tuesday, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said, “Instagram data is on the list of things we will one day get to.” It’s a question of not if, but when. However, with Zuckerberg noting that the development plan for Graph Search is “pretty much set” for the next few years, it might be some time before your tilt-shifted treats appear in Facebook search.
Photo via theofficialfacebook/YouTube