233 Comments

Summary:

Mark Zuckerberg & Co. stood up in front of the advertising community in New York today and unveiled Facebook Ads, an ad system that allows companies to use the Facebook social graph and to develop highly targeted ads. Large brands such as Coca-Cola (KO), Sony Pictures […]

Mark Zuckerberg & Co. stood up in front of the advertising community in New York today and unveiled Facebook Ads, an ad system that allows companies to use the Facebook social graph and to develop highly targeted ads. Large brands such as Coca-Cola (KO), Sony Pictures (SNE) and Verizon (VZ) have signed on for this effort. Part of the engine powering this new ad system is called Beacon, which takes data from 44 web destinations and mashes it up with Facebook’s internal information to help build more focused advertising messages.

While it seems to be a clever idea, a quick review reveals that Beacon might turn out to be a privacy hairball for the company.

The 44 sites that have partnered with Facebook include everyone from Kongregate, LiveJournal, NYTimes (NYT), Sony Online, Blockbuster (BBI), Bluefly.com, STA Travel, The Knot, TripAdvisor, Travel Ticker, TypePad, viagogo, Vox, Yelp, WeddingChannel.com and Zappos.com.

These partner sites put a little a piece of Facebook javascript on their web site and certain information, cleverly (and innocuously) labeled as a user alert, is sent to Facebook. For instance, Fandago users can publish information about the movies they saw. It all seems like a clever idea because it lets Facebook triangulate your likes and dislikes even more, and deliver more focused ads.

Facebook Beacon provides advanced privacy controls so Facebook users can decide whether to distribute specific actions from participating sites with their friends.

Reading that line prompted the following questions, which I put to Facebook:

1. Can consumers opt out of this?
2. If yes, does their data get erased?
3. Will the sites for example, Fandango, stop sending all personal and any kind of information to Facebook once the user opts out?
4. Why didn’t they make this an opt-in feature, instead of being an opt-out feature?

Their PR spokesperson emailed me this response:

Users can opt-out of Beacon on a per-site basis. They can opt-out for each action, or they can opt-out to never have an affiliated site send stories to Facebook. For instance, a user that buys The Notebook from Blockbuster can stop a story from being published about it, or she can opt-out of having Blockbuster publish any actions she takes on the Blockbuster site.

The response doesn’t seem to answer my questions and basically makes it seem like users have control over this data, when in reality, this is a privacy disaster waiting to happen. The javascript on the Fandango site pops up a little screen which asks if you want to publish the information on Facebook. If you say no, your friends won’t see the information, but apparently Facebook still receives it. This means that if you are a Facebook member, Facebook will know what you are doing on each of their partner sites. And there is no way for you to opt out of that. Or is there? I asked Facebook to clarify and I am still waiting for them to write back.

As for the rest of their announcement, while long and elaborate, it doesn’t contain any information we haven’t already seen. MySpace (NWS) has been doing brand specific-pages for a while now, in addition to using other targeting techniques.

  1. i agree. total transparency and total user control is a must.

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  2. Your breakdown clearly shows the privacy problem and as a FB user I am most likely going to avoid going to the partner sites altogether rather than sit down and opt out of each.

    I am sure there are lots of people who don’t want their purchases or web visits revealed to anyone. The “Share” feature on FB allows me to share what I want already and gives me complete control, I will never hand over that control.

    I would much have preferred to see that the ad platform was only focused on the branded pages plus even better demographic targeting than offered by Facebook Flyers Pro.

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  3. We will be happy to show you a better way! amhirsch2006@yahoo.com

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  4. Hmm, I dont understand this. How does Fandango know your facebook identity?

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  5. do you honestly think they designed an access control matrix for fifty million users across dozens of sites? no way.

    users won’t care at first until someone accidentally broadcasts to their social graph that they have been buying sex toys, viagra, or something else cheeky. then when it all stars leaking, the “WTF?!?!?!” phase will start and fb will throw out some patches to scan out “questionable” referrals, etc.

    in the end something will have to replace cookies. in the current model, users are forced to trust the black box they can’t look inside…even fb can’t look inside it for any particular user because there is just too much data.

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  6. Sachin Balagopalan Tuesday, November 6, 2007

    and who says I want to endorse Coke…

    http://tinyurl.com/23ehd8

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  7. The truly amazing thing about FB is how much personal data users enter. (and I mean tech-savvy, sophisticated people). Age, gender, marital status, religion, location, etc. What are they thinking? FB will redefine the art of identity-theft, phishing, and the like. For the bads guys, this is a beautiful place.

    And regarding the so-called targeted ads (really socially engineered ads) Except for searching, I’d rather these types of passive ads be less targeted so when I buy stuff, I at least have a sense that I bought it for other than manipulated reasons. There’s enough of that pressure now.

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  8. Just Opt-out from Facebook itself.

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  9. facebook IS a privacy nightmare, but its a choice..

    better use of time to give your sites videos an instant makeover.. found video skins templates to is perfect for the task..

    http://www.videoskintemplates.net/videoskinsblog/

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  10. This is a major problem. it’s the quick money. Facebook could become the 21st century rolodex, its clean, “trustworthy”, organized and… easy.

    However, “trustworthy comes into question here, BIG TIME. To the point really where there is no grey area, Facebook is largely fed to the sharks for a flounder foray.

    That’s right, Om has got it down and that’s that.

    Facebook won’t be worth 1/15 of what people say it is when some does the same EXACT thing without this breach of privacy. And that’s what it is… when you sign up, the doted line doesn’t QUITE explain your susceptibility, perhaps deep in print, but there should really be a skull & cross bones like a smoking signal if you think giving out your identity is hazardous to your health.

    Just my 2 cents.

    -Americo

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  11. hmm, have not use facebook yet…

    I’m not sure if it can generate some commercial values. Anyway heres the blueprint of internet millionaire get into millionaire mindset.

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  12. This starts making OpenSocial more and more attractive, although as mentioned here: http://beta.resourcepad.com/storys/Fights_in_the_Playground_Facebook_vs_The_Rest_of_the_World/77, it comes with its own set of concerns.

    All in all, I’d like to sit this one out and see how it affects the userbase.

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  13. Martin Lawrence Wednesday, November 7, 2007

    A quote by Albert Einstein comes to mind: “In order to form an immaculate member of a flock of sheep one must, above all, be a sheep”

    Could someone (Craig Newmark, Jimmy Wales?) build an open social platform that is NOT a scheme to maximally exploit private information?

    While the scheme is the perfect solution to present billboards to a flock of sheep, I DO hope that intelligent individuals will not fall for this.

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  14. [...] GigaOm brings up the old privacy issue, (a topic constantly talked about with social network) yet we forget that we are the ones that populate the profiles and information on these free to use websites. Before we throw a rock out the window, we should first look in the mirror. [...]

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  15. This will probably be driven off the users email address, so a simple way around it is to use multiple email addresses.

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  16. Now…what about Google? Is there a way to opt-out of their tracking systems? Put into the same bag:

    1. The millions of sites that use Google Analytics’ javascript tracking code, which sends information to Google about the browsing habits of a particular IP addresses. Compare this to Facebook’s 44 sites…you at the back, stop laughing!

    2. The millions of people who run searches on Google’s engine, thus giving information to Google about their search interest, also with their IP address.

    3. The millions of people using GMail, which openly admits to scanning the contents of sent and received messages for marketing purposes – thus tying #1 and #2 above to a real identity (the IPs you use to your email addresses).

    4. Geolocation of the above data by IP address can also give indication of travel and movement of each user.

    Anyone remember that initiative by Google to listen to your TV by using your PC’s microphone, and targeting ads as a result? I think they dropped that one, but who is the biggest threat to privacy?

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  17. I don’t think there is a (serious) privacy issue in project beacon, (like there isn’t one with Gmail for example), the question is more do I seriously want ALL my friends to know which book I bought from Amazon or what colour underwear I ordered from Calvin Klein?

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  18. this will soon turn into a high profile facebook revolt, just as it happend in the feeds feature over a year ago. young users are very techsavy and are quick to call foul if they feel their privacy is at risk. i think that’s what has really help facebook grow: ilusion of privacy. i am the type willing to let go of a little privacy in order to say: get better amazon recomendations or movies in netflix. some users don’t feel the same. using the arbirary opt in is probably going to piss a lot of people when the sheet starts to hit the fan, just like woopie said. it’s going to be kind of funny seeing the not so fb savy screw up by sahring the unshareable!!!!

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  19. [...] Malik queries as to whether this is a privacy nightmare, as opting out (from a “sending out” point of view), may not eliminate the data from [...]

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  20. Hmm, seems like a hairy situation. Privacy of one’s users should be priority number one.

    You make a good point, seems like this should be “opt-in”

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  21. @Vijay

    If you’re signed into Facebook, the JavaScript will know your identity.

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  22. I think Facebook’s rush to world domination runs the risk of too aggressive, non-consumer friendly things like Social Ads and Beacon. One question a friend of mine asked was what Facebook would do with Beacon-supplied purchasing data that I decided not to include in my feed – do they still retain it? That would suck pretty hugely.

    I put some thinking into what I see as a pro forma solution for policy-based control in a post at:

    http://greatfallsventures.wordpress.com/2007/11/06/facebook-thinks-my-friends-want-to-know-when-i-buy-hemorrhoid-cream-the-culmination-of-a-bad-month-for-privacy-and-my-views-on-the-solution/

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  23. [...] is Facebook a cat about to cough up a privacy hairball? Or the harbinger of a newly friendly relationship between marketers and web users? It’s [...]

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  24. @Mike Puchol, exactly. Anyone using Google Analytics has tracking information about users that’s being logged. Or Quantcast. Or you name it — there’s no end to JavaScript tracking going on out there. As you say, Om — Facebook will still be able to tie that back to particular profiles, but Microsoft and Yahoo both have ad programs that do the same thing, as well. The only real opt-out is not to take JavaScript.

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  25. Just because it’s not obvious, it doesn’t mean it’s not there. Google knows more about you than Facebook.

    Beacon will work because kids like to brag about what they bought. If you’re over 24, you might not understand.

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  26. Google may have IP addresses but it doesn’t always have names.

    A family of four will all be doing completely different searches from the same IP. Facebook’s user data is pretty awesome.

    The other thing is you might be doing a search for something dodgy on Google and it’s not like Google goes out and tells all your friends about it. Sounds like thats what Facebooks going to do.

    I got to say I would have taken the money if I was that Mark guy. Web 2.0 is about to crash in a major way and with this aggressive new ad push facebook could quickly become another friendster.

    I’m already thinking of ditching my real account accept I want to test out the ad programs first.

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  27. [...] Is Facebook Beacon a Privacy Nightmare? [...]

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  28. [...] για κάμερες στους δρόμους. Το Facebook είναι πλέον privacy nightmare — και δε νομίζω πως τα όσα έχει δείξει μέχρι στιγμής [...]

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  29. Facebook Ad Platform Launches Amidst Much Criticism

    Facebook, the popular social network has announced the launch of its own advertising network, Facebook Ads, which went live yesterday. The advertising platform will provide three products to advertisers: Social Ads, Facebook Pages and Beacon, in additi…

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  30. 89.534% of facebook users aren’t going to:

    a. notice
    b. give a sh*t

    True story. +/- 10% of course.

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  31. thegrahambaileyblog Wednesday, November 7, 2007

    I have to believe this will end in lawsuits. This whole system seems incredibly flawed. Facebook as an organisation seems to believe more in profit systems than a good user experience.

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  32. [...] of online advertising has dominated the conversation: from MySpace’s Hyper targeted ads to Facebook’s new ad-system to broadband advertising systems introduced by companies such as AnchorFree. The advertising of [...]

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  33. Jon Gilkison’s right, Chicken Little.

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  34. What Jon Gilkison said.

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  35. You can block Beacon pretty easily without interfering with any normal Facebook use:

    http://www.ideashower.com/blog/block-facebook-beacon/

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  36. [...] Next Stop For Facebook: World Domination TechCrunch: The Facebook Ad Backlash Begins GigaOm: Is Facebook Beacon a Privacy Nightmare? Sphere: Related [...]

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  37. [...] news of online advertising has dominated the conversation: from MySpace’s hyper- targeted ads to Facebook’s new ad system to broadband advertising systems introduced by companies such as AnchorFree. The advertising, of [...]

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  38. Give Facebook’s Beacon The Kibosh, Adblocking Styles!

    When I was writing about how “average” Facebookers might not like how the new Social Ads might be implemented, in the back of my mind I was wondering how “above-average” Facebookers might take to it.  Geeky coding types being s…

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  39. [...] Is Facebook Beacon a Privacy Nightmare? « GigaOM [...]

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  40. [...] Om Malik: “Reading that line prompted the following questions, which I put to [...]

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  41. [...] by Om Malik Friday, November 9, 2007 at 4:30 PM PT | No comments It has been 48 hours since I asked Facebook to clarify the point about whether a user’s data is still being passed to them from their web partners even after the user chooses to opt out of [...]

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  42. [...] has been 48 hours since I asked Facebook to clarify the point about whether a user’s data is still being passed to them from their web partners even after the user chooses to opt out of [...]

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  43. [...] Om thinks the same, and you can find a guide on how to block this intrusive product here. Technorati Tags: facebook,facebook pages,business,social media,facebook beacon,om malik [...]

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  44. [...] So If you have no clue as to what Facebook Beacon is I suggest you read up. [...]

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  45. [...] how users will react. In response to these concerns, William Tildesley created a Facebook group and Om Malik has questioned a representative from Facebook about how users can avoid being tracked, but the [...]

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  46. [...] Facebook’s Beacon Raises Privacy Concerns – Facebook yesterday revealed its new three-pronged advertising strategy to mixed reviews. The most common reaction among bloggers was one of confusion–particularly with regard to Beacon, the program that “empowers” users to become product endorsers. Advertisers pay to put a little piece of javascript on their site that sends user interaction information back to Facebook. The user has to agree to allow the Web site to do this, and if they do, their purchase information is sent to their friends via a Facebook news feed.   [...]

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  47. Just block everything and carry on like it never happened. If you use fire fox download the the “blocksite” add on. https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/3145
    Add http://ww.facebook.com/beacon/* to your black list to block beacon and Add http://ads.*.facebook.com to block the flash sidebar adds, and the adds in the sponsored posts.

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  48. Great post. I really believe that the true power of fan pages will not be in building more branded destinations, but in building conversation spaces for consumers to communicate with brands.

    Here are my thoughts more fleshed out:

    http://senithomas.wordpress.com/2007/11/13/facebook-fan-pages-guide-destinations-vs-collaborative-conversation-spaces/

    Cheers,

    Seni

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  49. [...] sur différents sites partenaires (cf. Facebook ads definitely creepy, possibly illegal et Is Facebook Beacon a Privacy Nightmare?) pour mieux cibler votre profil et celui de vos potes. Autant vous dire que cela pose de très [...]

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  50. [...] a follow-up to my last post on privacy, David from the Web Analytics Forum kindly pointed me to an article that explores the ways in which privacy continues to come under attack from the media darling, [...]

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  51. [...] the browser level (in Firefox). Beacon is one of the things powering the new Facebook social ads. Go read more about how it works, and why you might want to do more than just adjust the privacy settings in Facebook. (Which you [...]

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  52. [...] of the fallout with regards to beacon is the concern over privacy. People are concerned about their online activities being shared on facebook. However, the toast [...]

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  53. Hi Om,

    Let me put this question to you: did Facebook lose its users when it made the newsfeed (or, in this privacy context, the stalkerfeed)? If anything it made people more addicted. I don’t think people will react negatively on the privacy front. What may be an issue is a backlash against unsolicited ads. People avoid clicking ads and feel good about it, so this push strategy may piss some off.

    That all said, my results show better CTR since the change, though it’s still results on my flyers, so IDK if they’ve also been affected.

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  54. [...] ad service was pegged as a potential privacy nightmare the day it was launched (November 6) by Om Malik, who raised some pointed questions to the good folks at FB and received responses that were vague [...]

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  55. OPT-IN NOT OPT-OUT.

    How hard is that to understand, Zuckerberg?

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  56. [...] Facebook’s own page about Beacon is very vague about how it works—just some of techno-/pr-jargon boasting how cool it is. A Google search for “facebook beacon” is not much more help…mostly just links to the people complaining about Beacon invading their privacy and articles regurgitating the complaints. Others, such as Om Malik, have also tried to get more information about Beacon, but with little more… [...]

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  57. [...] the typical rants against insidious stealth advertising techniques, but privacy concerns are the primary cause for alarm. It may even be illegal. But I doubt [...]

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  58. [...] vad som kan vara försök från Facebooks sida att mörka det hela, även Silicon Alley Insider och Giga Om har riktigt intressant analys kring situationen med Facebook [...]

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  59. [...] fact yes. There is something that can be done. You can open your API and use Beacons to spread more content without the use of search engines. Remember that Beacons opt you in by [...]

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  60. [...] wondering Colin, if you have any plans to address the Facebook Beacon in a future piece? I know I’ve blocked it via Firefox, but with the size of FB growing [...]

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  61. Great Post OM! We were about to launch development of an small facebook application, now we have scrapped the same.

    I came across several posts like this, when I was browsing a site hosted by Stanford University Class on Facebook study. I accidentally landed on there page, when I was researching on who is using my theme Redie 3.0 :)and that help me to think again.

    No one still sure about the type of information facebook collect? Even though we block the facebook beacon using firefox extension, chances are there if they collect more informations of users from the activity done on machine itself.

    Thanks for this great info.

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  62. [...] Gigaom lists the companies which have partnered with Facebook. [...]

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  63. [...] opt-out (per site or per interaction), rather than choosing to opt-in, in the first place. There is also uncertainly that if you do in fact opt-out, whether or not Facebook still gets sent your third-party [...]

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  64. [...] basic review of the issue. Facebook’s Beacon program (already questioned as a possible “Privacy Nightmare” by GigaOm) lets users share their own data about what they like and dislike with other [...]

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  65. Here is a quote from Facebook privacy settings which I got when I tried to disable this crap “Please note that these settings only affect notifications on Facebook. You will still be notified on affiliate websites when they send stories to Facebook. You will be able to decline individual stories at that time.” So even though I declined to not have my privacy violated, I still have to put up with these pop up messages?

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  66. [...] has recently announced plans to launch its own social advertising styled on Facebook’s controversial Beacon system within the next six [...]

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  67. [...] has, of this writing, been trying a new marketing partnership program with several online stores and websites.  Now, when you purchase a book on “dealing with [...]

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  68. [...] rigtig meget snak om Facebook som annonceplatform. Og mens snakken primært har drejet sig om, hvorvidt produktet Facebook Beacon er noget skidt, har andre testet Facebook som annonceplatform for at se, hvilke resultater, man kan [...]

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  69. [...] from gigaom: “…this is a privacy disaster waiting to happen. The javascript on the Fandango site pops up a little screen which asks if you want to publish the information on Facebook. If you say no, your friends won’t see the information, but apparently Facebook still receives it. This means that if you are a Facebook member, Facebook will know what you are doing on each of their partner sites. And there is no way for you to opt out of that…” (clicky.) [...]

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  70. [...] childish allure it’s like Facebook status on ketamine… which given the general disquiet about the Facesoft Beacon advertising system is a somewhat apt analogy. Ketamine will either put [...]

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  71. [...] when it happened), but now there is the problem of advertising (ABC political ads for one), privacy while shopping online (Beacon) and I’m sure more to [...]

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  72. [...] Posted on November 28, 2007 by dojan Just så skrev Om Malik på sin blogg Gigaom den 6 november i år. Och svarade själv “ja” i slutet av inlägget. Malik [...]

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  73. I have a lot of younger friends on Facebook. I’m almost 40 but my workplace is full of young hip gen Y er’s. You know, young dumb and having fun, naive, but all good kids. I fear some of there lives may be seriously screwed 10 years from now.

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  74. [...] Facebook announced Beacon, Om called Beacon a potential privacy hairball noting that even if you opt out of the information publishing, [...]

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  75. [...] (0) Three weeks is a long time on the Internet. It was on November 6, I raised the question: Is Facebook Beacon a privacy nightmare? Three days later, my next post, Facebook’s Cruel Intentions elicited some response from the [...]

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  76. [...] to grow its ad network into social networking environments and how Facebook has developed their own new advertising platform for use within their social network. Advertisers are always going to follow [...]

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  77. [...] sneakin’ with Beacon. Facebook application snoops on your shopping, has folks up in arms. Thousands of men now explaining random jewelry purchases that have been [...]

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  78. [...] headliners like “I’m in Privacy Trouble.. Bitch“. The problem is Beacon’s advertising capabilities are opt-in by default, which raised eyebrows almost immediately. Since most users weren’t [...]

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  79. [...] by Stefan Berteau at Computer Associates has shown that with respect to Facebook’s Beacon, it really doesn’t matter what your opt in status means with respect to your [...]

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  80. [...] Beacon advertising technology was launched in first week of November with 44 partner sites including giants like Coca-Cola (KO), Sony Pictures (SNE) and Verizon (VZ). The list does not end here, [...]

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  81. [...] they’re doing it and before they know it they’ve signed up and cannot opt out. Facebook has been asked several times if users can opt out of the service, the response most are given is that yes, you can opt out of [...]

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  82. Great post, if anyone is interested on learning How to block Facebook Beacon completely there is an out line at http://doreviews.com/how-to-block-facebook-beacon/

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  83. [...] It seems that Facebook is going through some growing pains. Their Beacon product is getting trashed left and right as Web 2.0 geeeks question privacy issues. [...]

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  84. [...] Plenty of people were worried about the privacy implications (though not as much as the recent Beacon uproar), yet today the Mini-Feed seems strategic and [...]

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  85. [...] Is Facebook Beacon a Privacy Nightmare?: GigaOM described the new Facebook advertisement delivery system called “Beacon” might turn out to be a privacy hairball for the company. Read the post clicking the link above. [...]

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  86. [...] las primeras críticas, Facebook modificó el funcionamiento del programa, permitiendo a cada usuario desactivar [...]

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  87. [...] the total balls-up that is the Facebook Beacon advertising scheme which is now being described as a privacy nightmare. How times change. TCUK digg_url = [...]

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  88. [...] those of you who weren’t following the Facebook beacon fiasco – it’s become quite a nightmare for Facebook and they have already capitulated. Facebook [...]

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  89. [...] Facebook began utilizing an advertising system they call “Beacon,” which is one of the aforementioned “micro-targeted” advertising systems used to connect [...]

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  90. [...] gigaom here are some of the particiapting sites that I also plan to boycott: The 44 sites that have [...]

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  91. [...] a post about Facebook’s beacon technology. In course of my homework for writing this post, I visited several other blogs that provided me useful information. I picked their point of view and reproduced it in my post with [...]

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  92. [...] response to an issue which has created headlines such as, “Does Facebook Hate Christmas?,” “Is Facebook a Privacy Nightmare?” and “Are Facebook’s Social Ads Illegal?” With enough voices, and media publicity, the [...]

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  93. [...] advertising gets more pervasive, intrusive – and therefore less effective. ‘Nough [...]

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  94. [...] Nutzen daraus: Habe den feuchten Traum eines jeden Vermarkters, eine immer sendende Datenboje, bei facebook beacon genannt mithilfe dieses Firefox Addons ausgeperrt. Weitere Infos bei [...]

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  95. [...] being tracked, but posted to their Facebook News Feed. This resulted in a gargantuan backlash over privacy issues, causing several companies to withdraw from the service and even prompted some users to leave [...]

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  96. [...] O Facebook e a privacidade por Alexandre Fugita Um dos assuntos que me chamou a atenção nos últimos dias é uma funcionalidade adicionada ao Facebook chamada Beacon, um mês atrás. O Beacon é uma ferramenta de recomendação que analisa os hábitos de navegação dos usuários do Facebook em alguns sites e informa sua rede de amigos sobre suas ações. Mais ou menos um BigBrother das suas andanças pela internet. Tudo isso não teria causado polêmica não fosse o fato do Beacon funcionar sem você solicitar e sem possibilidade de opt-out fácil. [...]

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  97. [...] called “Beacon” that lets websites send status to your mini-feed. It immediately drew a lot of criticism because of its invasion to privacy, to the point that many people figured out ways to block [...]

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  98. Seems like you were way ahead of the rest of us!

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  99. [...] just gotten to the point of assuming that all social networking sites are Ponzi schemes to bring eyeballs to ads by sending out email “on my [...]

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  100. [...] How would you feel if you were at a party and in the middle of your conversation with friends the guy hosting the party announced to everyone what your last purchase was and if you’d like one too you should come and talk to him? Kind of creepy huh? [...]

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  101. [...] These partner sites put a little a piece of Facebook javascript on their web site and certain information, cleverly (and innocuously) labeled as a user alert, is sent to Facebook. For instance, Fandago users can publish information about the movies they saw. It all seems like a clever idea because it lets Facebook triangulate your likes and dislikes even more, and deliver more focused ads. – GigaOM [...]

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  102. [...] guide, courtesy of yours truly, is about Facebook Beacon, the outside-website-integration idea that provoked a lot of ruckus among techies because it wasn’t as clearly opt-in as it should have been. That, in turn, [...]

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  103. [...] may already know, but a very controversial ad system called “Beacon”has recently been added to your Facebook profile meaning external websites (Amazon, Target, shoes, [...]

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  104. [...] are not saved in their database. With the recent Yahoo! Leaking Data and even more recently Facebooks Beacon debacle this is a great step by [...]

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  105. [...] website they visited, searches they made, has been recorded and saved for monitoring pourposes. Om Malik reported on November: Mark Zuckerberg & Co. stood up in front of the advertising community in New York today and [...]

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  106. [...] that specializes in targeted advertising. They gather data about your usage on Facebook (and 40+ other sites) in order to server up advertising that you’re more likely to click [...]

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  107. [...] Facebook’s recent Beacon kerfuffle raised the ire of its users. Facebook tracked users’ purchases on affiliated sites and [...]

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  108. [...] nicht die gleichen Fehler machen wie bei Facebook’s Beacon, nicht dass es auch hier zu einem Albtraum [...]

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  109. [...] several weeks of mounting criticism (see here, here and here) Facebook’s CEO issued a public apology, and began steps to make Beacon [...]

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  110. [...] note that this is the exact opposite Facebook Beacon from a privacy perspective. I’m talking about taking small amounts of publc profile data [...]

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  111. [...] note that this is the exact opposite Facebook Beacon from a privacy perspective. I’m talking about taking small amounts of publc profile data [...]

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  112. [...] note that this is the exact opposite Facebook Beacon from a privacy perspective. I’m talking about taking small amounts of public profile data [...]

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  113. I realize I’m a little late to the party, but I just have to say that your reference to the potential, “privacy hairball” is a brilliant use of language. Loved it!

    –R

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  114. [...] daily basis and really see some of the process that is helping formulate their points of view. When a story like Facebook Beacon breaks, I can get a feel for the sentiment from marketing bloggers within a couple minutes as the [...]

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  115. [...] GigaOm saw it as “a privacy disaster waiting to happen”. [...]

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  116. [...] their issues with the newer Beacon addition (Beacongate), which was heavily discussed in the blogosphere. Growing at such a rapid rate, I am sure that Facebook will definitely show up in the headlines for [...]

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  117. [...] they’re doing it and before they know it they’ve signed up and cannot opt out. Facebook has been asked several times if users can opt out of the service, the response most are given is that yes, you can opt out of [...]

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  118. [...] made the mistake of making the service an opt-out, instead of opt-in. The fact that Facebook receives your actions even if you opt-out out of the feature didn’t sit well with consumers as well as advertisers [...]

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  119. [...] machte, egal ob es der Rest des Rests der Welt wissen wollte oder nicht. Manche mögen das als Albtraum bezeichnen, allein, sie erkennen nicht, wie selbstlos Facebook dabei gehandelt hat, indem es [...]

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  120. [...] Facebook is no longer the golden child and is being attacked in many ways (be it from their advertising strategy or through the emergence of competitors such as Google and LinkedIn) – their need to stay [...]

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  121. [...] 3rd, 2008 (8:35am) Anne Zelenka No Comments Facebook has been pilloried for not caring enough about our privacy. But now they face a call to offer data portability, [...]

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  122. [...] Is Facebook Beacon a Privacy Nightmare? (Gigaom) [...]

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  123. Ìàíäàâîæêà åáàòü )

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  124. Hi? i thin it easy

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  125. [...] make several booboos around this in its very short life. Like this. Oh and let’s not forget this. Ahh the follies of youth. No Comments so far Leave a comment RSS feed for comments on this [...]

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  126. [...] that be the leap that wasn’t pre-looked) of Facebook’s consumer advertising platform Beacon, Amazon has allowed its users to build up records of what they’ve bought and share it with [...]

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  127. [...] stuff does matter, and that these issues are thrown into sharp relief by events such as the recent Facebook Beacon debacle. Essentially, organisations like Facebook and Google make their money out of information [...]

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  128. [...] Update: ไม่ขาดคำ มีปัญหาเรื่อง Beacon ที่ละเมิดสิทธิของ Users [...]

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  129. With the amount of traffic flowing through the social networks, it seems almost inevitable that advertisers will try to capitalize on these extraordinary amount of “eyeballs”.
    Privacy on the web may be some what of an illusion.
    It’s more about the use of information

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  130. [...] social network,” it’s no wonder that Facebook, noted for its  News Feed and Beacon backlash, and MySpace, characterized by the incredible amount of “friend” spam that [...]

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  131. [...] case rondom Facebook Beacon was een aardige eerste test. Hoe meer advertising spending, hoe groter de kans op vergelijkbare (of [...]

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  132. [...] The key is to balance privacy, user and advertiser relationships so it becomes a win-win. I think Facebook’s beacon will continue to take the brunt of the work and craft a model for social networks to follow. Let me [...]

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  133. [...] hold onto the media’s famously short attention span. The Facebook PR campaign (remember the Beacon PR misfire?) is at ramming [...]

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  134. [...] it knows exactly who you are. It know exactly what tabs are open in your browser. We have heard the Facebook Beacon row too. Also I don’t mean privacy issues are related to just Google and Facebook. Something [...]

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  135. [...] many might, as seen in recent months, decry the idea of sharing information willy-nilly (cf: the Facebook Beacon fiasco), I’m not averse to sharing that information with vendors. But there’s a catch: I want [...]

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  136. [...] life, liberty, or the pursuit of happiness in any meaningful way. When they’ve come close to becoming privacy threats, quick action was taken, and openness would not have [...]

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  137. [...] They really got beat up over the whole Beacon fiasco [...]

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  138. [...] While supposedly Mark Zuckerberg is aware of the growing dissatisfaction .. and you’d think the Beacon fiasco was notice enough … it’s hard to shake the sense that Facebook and its partner [...]

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  139. [...] mention Facebook by name, but he didn’t have to). Additionally, don’t expect anything like Facebook Beacon to be a part of the MySpace Developer [...]

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  140. [...] sneakin’ with Beacon. Facebook application snoops on your shopping, has folks up in arms. Thousands of men now explaining random jewelry purchases that have been [...]

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  141. [...] Facebook had not reacted as quickly as did when uses rebelled against the initial rollout of Beacon, a feature that allows business to connect with their visitors’ [...]

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  142. [...] specific demographic needs. Facebook recently launched Facebook Beacon, which had many, including GigaOM and PC World, publicly worried about privacy issues and methods that encourage users to give away [...]

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  143. [...] your political, religious, and professional sport affiliations. Facebook’s Beacon is only the scapegoat of what any advertiser is frothing at the mouth to implement. The clerks at your grocery store or [...]

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  144. [...] Facebook members defected, upset that those meddlesome privacy experts made them scale back Facebook Beacon [...]

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  145. [...] http://gigaom.com/2007/11/06/facebook-beacon-privacy-issues/ Posted by zivitypr Filed in Privacy, Technology, advertising Tagged: Beacon, Facebook, Privacy [...]

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  146. [...] of this privacy loss. The second incident happened when Facebook deployed a feature called “Beacon” which was used to post an update in your personal feed for your buddies to observe that your [...]

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  147. [...] announcement given the amount of information they know about their members. This, rather than the ill-fated Beacon program, which was clearly violating members’ privacy, even if Facebook was just trying to push on [...]

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  148. [...] has its eyes on you Om Malik has an interesting post regarding Facebook’s new ad-mechanism, which involves over 40 partners at [...]

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  149. [...] to remain while moms posting a pic of their child eating is removed. Who doesn’t hear why Beacon was so widely panned. Or why some people might be offended deserve a response on the hate groups [...]

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  150. [...] Oare citeste cineva toate reactiile si discutiile din jurul Facebook Beacon? [...]

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  151. [...] Beacon was a part of the platform. It was part of this while effort to blur the boundaries between [...]

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  152. [...] d’événements, de groupes d’intérêts de toutes sortes, des outils de sondage, et le fameux beacon mais j’en parlerai dans un autre [...]

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  153. [...] with the desire of service providers to make a buck has spawned ever more intrusive ad models (Hello, Beacon!) But while hyper-targeted ads and behavioral advertising raise eyebrows, so far they’ve [...]

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  154. [...] Beacon – not new news here but lots of controversy (and here – just google it and you’ll find [...]

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  155. [...] Beacon debacle was Facebook’s first big misstep (and Om Malik called it in advance, by the way). Company execs have evidently convinced themselves that it was just an implementation [...]

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  156. [...] the dawn of the modern newspaper. And he thinks that despite the very public pushback the likes of Facebook’s Beacon are getting. Zukerberg may well be right [...]

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  157. [...] varit positiva då den inte inkräktar på integriteten på samma sätt som till exempel Facebook Beacon [...]

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  158. [...] what we’ve done. Facebook has been accused of doing this in the past, especially with their Beacon application. Facebook recently rolled out new privacy settings and completely changed their [...]

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  159. [...] Monetizing your personal data is Job #1 for these social networking services, and we are only beginning to see how this will be [...]

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  160. of service providers to make a buck has spawned ever more intrusive ad models (Hello, Beacon!) But while hyper-targeted ads and behavioral advertising raise of service providers to make a buck has spawned ever more intrusive ad models (Hello, Beacon!) But while hyper-targeted ads and behavioral advertising raise d

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  161. [...] applications will only work when the user grants access to personal information.Besides being yet another PR headache for Facebook, it’s also another wake-up call for Internet users that what they assume is a safe [...]

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  162. [...] dominate social discourse as well. Since that time, it has stayed in the news with both good PR and bad PR. Yet, among most social networking circles the belief that Facebook has “jumped the [...]

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  163. [...] the state of the art of Internet services in terms of functionality. On the other hand, with its beacon privacy disaster, lack of payment mechanism, and problems with abuse and spam, it also reflects the worst of [...]

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  164. [...] hard to say. You look at an innovative initiative like Facebook’s beacon and the way people were not happy about it but then you read Edelman’s trust barometer and the number one most trusted thing is [...]

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  165. [...] what Facebook users want remains to be seen—Facebook has had more than its share of problems pushing unwanted features out to its user base. Posted in Information [...]

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  166. [...] Also here are some links to the concerns regarding facebook beacon, their advertisement strategy, and privacy policy. New Facebook Ad Techniques Raise Privacy Concerns Facebook’s Overblown Privacy Problems Is Facebook Beacon a Privacy Nightmare? [...]

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  167. hey, i found a new facebook privacy loophole with how photos are handled. Thought you might be interested:
    http://markforscher.com/blog/2008/06/your-facebook-photos-arent-private/

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  168. [...] and behold, that happened. Facebook’s Beacon program was the young company’s biggest disaster [...]

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  169. [...] I still care about you, just please don’t cookie me and beacon me and follow me around like some sort of stalker. Have some self-respect.  I’ll email you [...]

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  170. [...] privacy (privacy is his #1 concern unless he thinks he can make money by exploiting it, i.e. Beacon).  However he hit the nail on the head recently when he said that his goal was to allow users to [...]

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  171. [...] of San Francisco-based SocialMedia Networks, this move could bring a backlash similar to the Facebook Beacon uproar from last year. The privacy issues that arise are incredibly [...]

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  172. [...] is being used, and ways to prevent Facebook itself from distributing their information (remember Beacon anyone?). Facebook is changing all of that by allowing users to try the applications before they [...]

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  173. [...] comparison with the Beacon system this is almost benign. Beacon drew scorn & spit and my personal disdain, mostly because it sought to make commercial gains by compromising people’s privacy without [...]

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  174. [...] letting other people see what you surf can be creepy. Facebook’s first attempt at this, Beacon, stumbled famously (so much so that at least one smart VC confided in me suspicions that Beacon intentionally [...]

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  175. [...] programs, be exceedingly cautious about how your privacy policy and your consumers are impacted. Facebook’s Beacon fiasco demonstrated just how wrong it can go. A few others have earned reproach in similar ways since then. [...]

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  176. [...] for a moment all the the privacy issues surrounding Facebook, YouTube and even Google. Ignore also how fragmented your digital identity currently [...]

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  177. If you think Facebook is invading your privacy then think: most users are already in the habit of sharing their personal details and activities with other users on the site by default. You can always opt out by using the Beacon opt-out button, but many Facebook users couldn’t care less.

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  178. [...] your websites. The rest was done by Facebook themselves. Although the are some problem regarding piracy over past times, but you can’t denied that Facebook was a cool social networking [...]

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  179. [...] Google quickly realized it had overreached, in the same way Facebook did with Beacon. And what I like about Google is that they often correct themselves quickly and completely. They [...]

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  180. [...] the Web 2.0 world is that of choice, allowing users to decide what’s best for them. Facebook learned this the hard way when they forced user to opt-out of their Beacon advertising platform instead of giving them the [...]

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  181. [...] the many decisions that have proven controversial for Facebook, the dust is only just settling from Beacon – a tool which helped track and share information about user’s shopping habits and [...]

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  182. [...] and 45%). It’s quite surprising, particularly after the uproar within certain circles over Facebook’s Beacon advert system, for [...]

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  183. [...] to be making secret deals with each other to gain access to user information. The issue around Facebook’s Beacon supports this idea of user information being shared with third parties. Users were automatically [...]

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  184. [...] the typical rants against insidious stealth advertising techniques, but privacy concerns are the primary cause for alarm. It may even be illegal. But I doubt [...]

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  185. [...] you are doing on those sites to everyone on Facebook. It’s like Facebook Beacon — minus the marketing sleaziness. Partners include the Discovery Channel, the (irrelevant) genealogy network Geni, and (hot) video [...]

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  186. [...] what you are doing on those sites to everyone on Facebook. It’s like Facebook Beacon — minus the marketing sleaziness. Partners include the Discovery Channel, the (irrelevant) genealogy network Geni, and (hot) video [...]

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  187. [...] what you are doing on those sites to everyone on Facebook. It’s like Facebook Beacon — minus the marketing sleaziness. Partners include the Discovery Channel, the (irrelevant) genealogy network Geni, and (hot) video [...]

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  188. [...] there was last year’s Beacon fiasco. You can now opt out of Beacon, if you know where to look. Thanks, [...]

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  189. [...] It is thought however, that Facebook is still receiving this information. (Refer to here and here) It is also believed that Facebook has ties with the CIA and DARPA (Defense Advanced Research [...]

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  190. [...] off the bat, I blindsided Tim with some questions about the Beacon Project (mostly because I thought it was a ingenious way to make money).  Although I did give Tim a list [...]

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  191. [...] off the bat, I blindsided Tim with some questions about the Beacon Project (mostly because I thought it was a ingenious way to make money).  Although I did give Tim a [...]

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  192. [...] the Beacon advertising system by Facebook? It looked innocent enough, until one dug underneath the surface, that is. Speaking of Facebook, [...]

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  193. [...] Ultimately this is why I don’t like Facebook. I don’t trust their motives, and I don’t trust the system they’re building. It’s very closed; their intentions often opaque. They are basically constructing an alternative to the open Internet, except under the control of one corporation. And unlike Google, another huge company, I do not think Facebook is doing this with any noble intentions like sharing all the world’s information or trying to connect people. Google provides access to the world’s data on any website it may reside. Facebook is trying to pull all that data into itself. Their rights-grabbing TOS which is nearly the polar opposite of Google’s just gives more fuel to my suspicions that they want to literally, own all the data, probably for some nefarious Beacon-like advertising scheme. [...]

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  194. [...] the Beacon advertising system by Facebook? It looked innocent enough, until one dug underneath the surface, that is. Speaking of Facebook, [...]

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  195. [...] the Beacon advertising system by Facebook? It looked innocent enough, until one dug underneath the surface, that is. Speaking of Facebook, [...]

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  196. [...] first by the popular blog “The Consumerist”, has prompted a backlash only comparable to last year’s beacon fiasco, when Facebook introduced an intrusive system to monitor its user’s activity outside of [...]

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  197. [...] has had to withdraw a feature change amid heavy criticism.  Last year it was the ill-considered Beacon social shopping service. The company has created a bill of rights and responsibilities group and [...]

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  198. [...] even flipped the bird at privacy, as demonstrated by the Facebook Beacon [...]

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  199. [...] Terms of Service have reignited online privacy concerns and raised the specter of the Beacon debacle as the social networking powerhouse seeks to effectively manage personal information [...]

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  200. [...] was one of the original launch partners with Facebook Beacon. A few people protested this partnership, but having now lived through the [...]

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  201. [...] letting them know why, is a recipe for disaster. Facebook triggered a firestorm recently with its Beacon fiasco; that suggests they may not learn from their mistakes, because they went through a similar debacle [...]

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  202. [...] Despite the derision such a comment was met with by most people, I think he is quite right (though Facebook’s first implementation of Beacon was as wrong as Botox injections are for a 75-year-old). By turning its news feed into a newspaper for our [...]

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  203. [...] longer any such thing as privacy, fears of a carrier tapping into your web surfing for money, your social network using your movements online as ads, or your location data being mined for ads and government searches, we are living in an age in [...]

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  204. [...] fiasco, where companies can sign up to target personalized ads by using a technology called beacon is a complete contradiction of what social media should be.  In Malik Om’s blog post titled Is [...]

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  205. ThoughtPickers Blog >> Facebook vs. Animal Shelters!…

    We can find a community almost everywhere! Nature is a great example of a wide range of different communities; take beehives as one example and a herd of sheep as another… But what factors transform a community into a social network?…

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  206. Foreclosure lawyer Monday, April 6, 2009

    I agree with Kevin. Since most users do not care about this feature, it should be opt-out. If the feature was opt-in it wouldn’t be effective. At least they are letting the user make a choice.


    Frank

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  207. [...] like Facebook with its Beacon service had a scandal on its hands over user privacy. The FTC found that GeoCities had engaged in deceptive [...]

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  208. [...] like Facebook with its Beacon service had a scandal on its hands over user privacy. The FTC found that GeoCities had engaged in deceptive [...]

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  209. [...] greed or overpopulation end the era of [...]

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  210. Great post. I wonder how much user-testing facebook will conduct after seeing the slow decline of MySpace viewership versus Facebook’s! Or will we see a third niche social networking site rise from the many out there that just says ‘no’ to making 1/2 of the social networking site pages ads?
    Cheers,
    James

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  211. [...] responded to user privacy complaints. om malick (yes the same one) and fellow privacy watchdogs called attention to the potential for abuse. facebook quickly changed details of how notifications were presented (evolution shown here in a [...]

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  212. [...] data (actually our data but data that isn’t completely THEIRS either.)  I mean look at the big oopsie facebook did with Beacon and they had nothing but the best intentions of helping (and making a buck – who can blame [...]

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  213. [...] look at other ways to incorporate our passions, hobbies, businesses, or causes through new forms of beacon marketing which are relatively cheap or can even be free.  There are privacy issues that are raised but it [...]

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  214. [...] Advertising on Facebook and the controversy about Facebook-Beacons…”Beacons track what people do on the Internet while being logged in to Facebook. When I read an article in the New York Times, the New York Times will send a short notice to my Facebook profile which then will be displayed to my Facebook friends (or whoever can read my feed according to my privacy settings). I need to be logged into Facebook.”…Fred Stutzman explains how this works: Any time you load [a] Beacon-enabled page, Facebook knows exactly what you are looking at. In essence, this setup is sending your clickstream and path data to Facebook, precisely correlated to your Facebook identity.”…see here and here. [...]

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  215. This is a great feature for advertisers, but users may frown upon it a bit. I think advertisers would be better off using an advertising network like Adwido instead where advertisements are sought out and not forced on people.

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  216. [...] also has had run-ins with its users over how it keeps their data private, particularly with Beacon. This summer, people expressed widespread concern on the web over questions of whether Facebook [...]

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  217. [...] 21, 2009 | 7:00 PM PT | 0 comments At long last, Facebook is finally on its way to putting its Beacon troubles to rest. Following a class action lawsuit filed by 20 disgruntled Facebook users in August of last [...]

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  218. Look if facebook want to do it or not it’s still going to bring up the same issue as always. We don’t get a say anyway!! and anyway is it really that bad to be getting targeted advertising??? If I’m on facebook and im getting adds about things i actually care about it’s going to make my user experience ( even though im getting sucked into the advertising vortex) a better experience!! as I’m a young guy i dont really want to keep seeing adds about hair loss!!! Some advertising does have value and i would prefer the value to be targeted to me.

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  219. [...] very many partners, just Comcast, WebIS Mobile Sync and Yahoo, so your data is likely safer than at some services.  The privacy policy is pretty good (the permanent opt-out is particularly nice), as are the terms [...]

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  220. [...] be: take for example Facebook Ads, which, when it was first unveiled, included a system called “Beacon.” Beacon was partnered with approximately 44 external sites that would communicate user’s [...]

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  221. [...] market (here’s the obligatory call-back to the problematic but perhaps just before-its-time Facebook Beacon product). The Facebook social graph plus iTunes’ 125 million credit card accounts would be [...]

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  222. [...] revolt and drive the company to drop the feature. We saw that happen with a cousin of this product, Facebook Beacon, three years [...]

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  223. [...] its Beacon advertising program, which was an attempt to use data from Facebook member profiles to serve up more relevant ads, and also displayed users’ behavior on external sites in their Facebook stream. After a [...]

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  224. [...] Facebook only watches every move they make while they stay on Facebook.com — and who could be justifiably upset when they find out the full extent of [...]

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  225. [...] had one major user privacy slip-up). These sites also harken back to Facebook’s ill-fated Beacon activity-sharing project of a few years [...]

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  226. [...] lamb — instant personalization, perhaps. Like the company’s user activity tracking Beacon product of three years ago, instant personalization was probably launched before its time, and [...]

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  227. [...] lamb — instant personalization, perhaps. Like the company’s user activity tracking Beacon product of three years ago, instant personalization was probably launched before its time, and [...]

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  228. [...] late 2007.  I was listening to This Week in Tech and Leo LaPorte and his crew were dicussing the Facebook/Beacon debacle.  In short, Facebook had a formal arrangement  with numerous online stores which led to [...]

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  229. Facebook does not give 2nd chance to their subscribers when they disabled the accounts.. thats my concerns because they disabled it without any reasons.. they are more than a God who does not care for the feelings of their subscriber whom they got their Living……………..

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