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The Grench Facebook that Stole Christmas

I've been reading a lot lately about Facebook's new Beacon Feature. In case you haven't - basically Beacon automatically adds things that you've bought, rented, or auctioned from participating merchants to your news feed - so they show up on your profile and that of your network.

This is not only creepy - it's ruining Christmas presents! "Hey honey - I see you bought that new ipod I wanted... oh... umm.... " Yah, just like that.

Moveon.org has mounted a campaign against this feature - (see their demo here) stating that it's an invasion of privacy because you're opted in by default, and it's very hard to opt out of... you have to do it site by site, you can't just opt out of the program all together.

I totally agree.. What is Facebook thinking? Do you really want your colleagues or your boss to know you rented some cheesy romantic comedy? Or finally sold that old wedding dress on ebay? I can't really tell if a user will know what sites are participating and what might show up on Facebook without constantly checking their profile. I'm sure there must be a way, but the real issue is - it's not easy and it's not opt in.

Surely Facebook will see the error of its ways and clear this up. It's an oversight, and they'll fix it. They'll listen to their users... Right?

The WSJ explains it all here.

Good Morning Silicon Valley talks about it more.






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