Speaking of Facebook Privacy, the ubiquitous social network is quietly killing off a privacy setting that allowed users to set who could search for their profile and Timeline by name. According to Facebook, only "a small percentage" of people were still using the setting, which would allow you to hide your entire timeline from anyone you weren't friends with.
Facebook's chief privacy officer Michael Richter explained it as a way to clean up their search results as the site moves on from being a directory of profiles and tries to push users into the creepier-than-usual Graph Search feature.
The setting was created when Facebook was a simple directory of profiles and it was very limited. For example, it didn’t prevent people from navigating to your Timeline by clicking your name in a story in News Feed, or from a mutual friend’s Timeline. Today, people can also search Facebook using Graph Search (for example, "People who live in Seattle,") making it even more important to control the privacy of the things you share rather than how people get to your Timeline.
So, as Valleywag points out, individual users now have to remember to tweak the share settings on every single photo they post or status update they make. As TechCrunch notes, this makes things more dangerous for "people with stalkers" — the set of Facebook users that undoubtedly need clear privacy settings the most:
For people with stalkers, though, Facebook may have just gotten a bit more dangerous. Facebook tells me the way to keep a specific person from finding your profile or viewing any of your content is to block them. But what if your stalker just signs up for a fake profile with a new name? Then they could search and find you.
This is where the friction of Facebook's mission to connect the world, responsibility to make money for its investors, and its duty to keep people’s privacy safe come into conflict.
For those who need to share very little public information on Facebook, there's always the option to go through each piece of your profile and set the visibility to "Friends" or "Only Me." Facebook also provides this tool to limit the audience of all your old timeline posts in one fell swoop, but if you really don't want anyone to see what you've been up to, your best bet is probably to hit the Facebook self destruct button and then move to a cabin in the woods.