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Social media giant Facebook has altered its privacy policy yet again, this time enforcing a change that means all users will be searchable, no matter what.

The company is retiring the “Who can look up your Timeline by name?” setting over the next few weeks, after it said back in December that it would begin phasing the option out.

Facebook's chief privacy officer Michael Richter said in a statement that users who have enabled the feature will be informed of the changes on their Facebook profile and in emails.

"The search setting was removed last year for people who weren't using it," he said.

"For the small percentage of people still using the setting, they will see reminders about it being removed in the coming weeks."

Richter described the change as an expansion of the search feature on Facebook, and said it was 'finishing the removal of an old feature.'

"The setting was created when Facebook was a simple directory of profiles and it was very limited," he said.

"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 ... making it even more important to control the privacy of the things you share rather than how people get to your Timeline."

The company listed a number of instructions on how to control what other users can see at its blog here.

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David Swan

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David Swan is a tech journalist from Melbourne and is iTWire's Associate Editor. Having started off as a games reviewer at the tender age of 14, he now has a degree in Journalism from RMIT (with Honours) and owns basically every gadget under the sun. You can email him at david.swan@itwire.com or follow him at twitter.com/mrdavidswan

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