Facebook plans to unveil an interesting new feature in the next coming weeks: disposable passwords.
Picture it: you're jonesing for a Facebook fix, but can only log in to a public computer. You're skittish about entering your personal information into a computer that countless hands have touched.
What do you do? Risk exposing your username and password to the next person who sits at the computer or wait until you get home to see if your ex accepted your Friend Request?
Soon, you won't have to do either.
On October 12, 2010, Facebook integrity team member Jake Brill blogged that when the security feature is available, all you'll have to do is text "otp" to 32665 from a cell phone number associated with your profile and a temporary password will be texted back to you - a password that can be used only once and expires after 20 minutes.
For now, the feature will only be available to those with U.S. cell phone numbers.
Brill goes on to say that along with temporary passwords, Facebook will soon give users the ability to log out of their profiles remotely.
"These session controls can be useful if you log into Facebook from a friend's phone or computer and then forget to sign out," Brill said.
Users can check to see if they're still logged in by going to their Account Settings and if they are, they'll be able to log out there.
This feature can be useful in the case of someone accessing your account without your permission - you'll be able to shut them out and change your password.
In the last year, Facebook has suffered some damage in the PR department with some privacy-related gaffs; one of the most recent being in late 2009 when they changed the default setting for scores of user information to "public."
As a result, users' names, photos, and friend lists all became available for everyone to see, even if the user had previously specified that only her friends could view it.
Perhaps these new login functions are proof that Facebook acknowledges most people are concerned with keeping their information private when it's online.