Facebook Must Stop Monetizing on Invading Privacy

Posted on Nov 21, 2007

Facebook recently launched Beacon, a controversial new advertising system that broadcasts recent purchases made by users to their “friends.”

The scary thing about this is that people and companies can learn very private things about you via this “service.” It forces us into an implied conformity and strips users of their free association privacy. If you discovered you had AIDS or a friend came out to you; would you want the world to know that? Your Facebook “friends,” will know immediately if you purchased books, tickets, or any number of items online; giving away said information without your consent.

There is an “opt-out” feature, but since the default is “opt-in,” one has to opt-out from every company that signs up to the service. Already that’s a long list. It should be opt-in, if at all.

MoveOn has started a campaign petitioning Facebook to remove or restrict the Beacon service from being so liberal with its users' private information. At the very least, Beacon should be opt-in.

Go there and sign up. It’s important to protect our privacy, even in this day and age when we give it away so freely. This is just blatant disregard.

Sorry for the lack of direct links to facebook.com – I refuse to link to them. There are ways to block Beacon entirely. I also urge everyone who use services from companies that signed up for Beacon, to email them petitioning them to discontinue use of the service.