Privacy concerns prompt U-turn at Facebook

Social networking site Facebook has modified a controversial service that broadcast details of its users’ online activities outside the site to their friends, following complaints about its privacy implications. The service now requires users to opt in before their actions are broadcast.

The service, called Beacon, feeds information about users’ online activities at partner sites into a stream of “stories” made visible to other members of a user’s social network.

It also allows the partner sites to tack a “social ad” containing the user’s photo onto the story, suggesting that the user endorses the partner’s services.

Actions that can be broadcast in this way include purchasing a product, signing up for a service, or adding an item to a wish list. One of the first partners to use the service was Blockbuster: when a Facebook user added a movie to their queue on the blockbuster.com website, that information was transmitted to their Facebook contacts.

Last night, Facebook said it would ask users to opt in to the service before broadcasting details of their online activities to others. A separate opt-in question will be displayed on their Facebook profile page for each of the partner sites they use, it said. If they do not reply then the question will disappear after a time, only to reappear each time they use the partner site until they either allow or refuse the broadcasting of messages about their activity there.

Would you recommend this article?

Share

Thanks for taking the time to let us know what you think of this article!
We'd love to hear your opinion about this or any other story you read in our publication.


Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

Featured Download

CDN Staff
CDN Staffhttps://channeldailynews.com
For over 25 years, CDN has been the voice of the IT channel community in Canada. Today through our digital magazine, e-mail newsletter, video reports, events and social media platforms, we provide channel partners with the information they need to grow their business.

Related Tech News

CDN in your inbox

CDN delivers a critical analysis of the competitive landscape detailing both the challenges and opportunities facing solution providers. CDN's email newsletter details the most important news and commentary from the channel.