Facebook is going to make everything that I have ever posted on facebook public on the 17th. Everything that I wanted to be private is going to public again on someones brilliant idea to create a timeline and change people privacy settings without asking. I have to now go through my page and delete, hide, or edit everything that I don't want made public. It seems that facebook wants to post everything they can about you without your permission. I am tempted to stop using facebook.
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I think what you may be interpreting as "public" is the fact that you have seven days after switching to the new Timeline to edit it before it goes "public" on Facebook, not to the general public. I hope this helps to clarify things for you.