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Facebook has introduced Graph Search, a new search technology that will allow users to find content based on certain criteria — "tourist attractions in Italy visited by my friends," for example.
Graph Search almost immediately sparked questions about user privacy. What will Graph Search mean for your Facebook privacy?
People will be able to use Graph Search to find any content that you already share with them. Uploaded some public, geo-tagged photos of the Empire State Building? They're Graph Searchable by anyone and everyone. Like Toy Story 3? If your likes are public, that like is Graph Searchable by all. Checked-in to a restaurant, but you have your privacy set so only friends can see your check-ins? That's Graph Searchable, but only by your friends. And so on.
Ultimately, any of your content that could be discovered before Graph Search will be discoverable after Graph Search, and it will not cause any content to be revealed that wasn't already accessible.
"It makes finding new things much easier, but you can only see what you could already view elsewhere on Facebook," said a Facebook statement.
One important point: like before, any photo of you that someone else uploads will be searchable per that user's privacy settings. As an example, if a friend uploads a picture of you at a bar, geo-tags it and sets it as public, it will be Graph Searchable to anyone who searches for pictures from that bar. You can, however, make sure to un-tag yourself or request the uploader of the photo remove it from Facebook or change the privacy settings.
To help ensure Facebook users have set their privacy settings to their liking before Graph Search reveals any unpleasant surprises, Facebook has begun asking users to "review who can see your stuff." You should expect a prompt with that language to appear on Facebook shortly.
"We realise that people are going to care what shows up about them in search," Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said while unveiling Graph Search.
Still have questions about Facebook's new Graph Search and your Facebook privacy? Watch the explainer video from Facebook here. Are you concerned about Graph Search and privacy, or do you have more questions about it? Share in the comments below.
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