Originally published: November 2, 2011
Last updated: December 20, 2011 - 5:13pm
Facebook’s Timeline will roll out to all 800 million Facebook members and is designed to give a more comprehensive view of people's online identities. As with past moves, Facebook's plans are sparking privacy concerns among some members and privacy advocates.
The new emphasis on past posts means Facebook users have to be vigilant about screening who sees old posts to prevent potentially uncomfortable situations, especially for those who have matured since creating their account as students and would rather leave the past in the past. Up until now, Facebook accounts have focused on the most recent posts. With the new profile format, the most recent Facebook activities will be at the top. But as users go back in time, Timeline will summarize past posts — emphasizing the photos and status updates with the most "likes" or comments. The new profile gets rid of the "practical obscurity" that has always been part of Facebook, says Marc Rotenberg, executive director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center. "Things, over time, get harder to find, and that is sometimes a good thing," he says.