Facebook’s New Privacy Controls Roll Out to All US Users

Facebook(NEW YORK) -- If you think getting improved Facebook privacy controls is a gift, then Christmas is coming a bit early.

Starting Thursday night, the new privacy tools, which were announced last week, will start to roll out to users in the United States. Other countries began to get them earlier Thursday. Facebook's manager of privacy and safety, Nicky Jackson Colaco, told ABC News that all Facebook users in the U.S. would have the new controls by the end of the day on Friday, Dec. 21.

Last week Facebook announced some major changes to the look and feel of its privacy controls. One of the biggest changes includes a new redesigned menu, which is located in the upper right hand corner of every Facebook page. Click the small lock icon and a larger box with questions like "Who Can See My Stuff?" will appear. This makes getting to the right place easier and the menus have been tidied up -- though some settings are still hard to find.

Facebook has also added educational messages to parts of Facebook. In particular it is focusing on telling users that even if a photo is not tagged with your name, others might be able to see it on Facebook, perhaps through your friends' Timelines. It is also making it easier to untag photos -- remove identifying information from them. The Activity Log will be updated with a new "Request and Remove" tool. You can filter images, untag multiple photos and contact others to untag you.

And it's certainly a good time to know about those tools. "Obviously there are a a ton of holiday and New Year's parties this time of year," Colaco said. "For those waking up on Jan. 1 who want to figure out what photos they want to take off, the Activity Log and the Report and Remove tool are great ways to manage those potentially inflammatory photos."

Facebook has recently released a new Android app and is testing a new Timeline design. Not everyone will have those yet, but if you wanted better privacy tools, look for them Thursday night or Friday.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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