Facebook Beacon: opt-out is a cop out, and how their users don’t understand

December 17, 2007 by Jared Goralnick

I’m really glad that the tech-savvy internet community did some self-policing this past month when it harped on the Facebook Beacon privacy issue. But I must sadly agree that most Facebook users have no idea about the severity of this. It bothers me to no end that they would take advantage of their users. A conversation this morning reminded me of what their more typical user is like, and how Facebook is abusing them:


Not sure if you’re aware of your privacy settings. You have Beacon enabled…

Facebook’s Beacon in the Mini-Feed

Here’s how to turn it off. Go to the link below and check the box:

And her response:

I had been vaguely following the issue, but I read that you have to opt-in for each purchase, so that’s really surprising! I guess I must have misunderstood. And it was actually my mom who bought the posters (for [my brother] for Christmas–good thing they were on his list so he knew he’d get them), so I guess they just list anything that’s purchased on a computer you’ve logged into?

Thanks again!

This is a friend who blogs and is generally fairly computer savvy. She had no idea what Beacon was doing. I’m sorry, Facebook, opt-out is a cop out. Burying a feature for tech-savvy folks and those who read your barely-updated blog is tactless.

You should really subscribe to Technotheory via Subcribe via email email or rss.

Impart Your Theoretically Interesting Wisdom

Your Comments