Counter Facebook/Beacon FUD Roundup

A couple of Facebook experts explain that Beacon is not as bad as MoveOn.org and others wants you to think (as far as privacy invasion). Coincidently, Facebook’s founder Mark Zukerberg has had his social security number published in a Harvard-targeted magazine.

Dave McClure: Facebook Beacon & Privacy Settings for External Websites (ex: BustedTees.com)

Sean Percival: Facebook Beacon is Sexy

Sawickipedia: Facebook’s beacon program isn’t the spawn of the devil – why you’ll grow to love it too

These posts address the privacy concerns regarding the sharing of your activity about other sites with your friends. However, what about the sharing of your browsing habits with Facebook’s Beacon partners regardless of your Beacon privacy settings in Facebook? The data could still get collected and shared between Facebook and their partners, it is just not published by your newsfeed. In other words, Facebook is leveraging its users cookies’ for its partners to mine data. This will make advertising more targeted and relevant, and this could still be a concern for some people. This is the future, but most people are not ready for this today.

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2 Responses to Counter Facebook/Beacon FUD Roundup

  1. Sawickipedia says:

    You’re right that the data is still being collected but the challenge rightly or wrongly is that everyone is doing it. Have you checked your Amazon privacy policy lately? That will make you blush. At least with Beacon it is more obviously going on so you can decide whether you really want to be a Facebook member. Amazon does it and has been doing it for years without incident or backlash. People seem to accept it as a price to get better product recommendations. Perhaps that’s better evidence of the majority’s muted acceptance despite the vitriol of the critics.

  2. Nick Dynice says:

    It may be true that Amazon’s TOC are more evasive, but all eyes are on Facebook at the moment. Amazon’s recommendation engine has a clear benefit for the user, and it does not necessarily broadcast the users intentions as explicitly as Beacon. So, Amazon knows how to dodge the criticism better than Facebook, possibly by phasing in bad agreements more slowly over time, and doing it when they are not the hot new startup.

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