Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Facebook, don't act so innocent

PC World: Facebook Quiet On Beacon Fallout
Facebook's Beacon advertising program has drawn the ire of analysts, columnists, bloggers, advertisers and its own users. Despite such widespread criticism, Beacon's ad partners have remained surprisingly mum on the issue. Which probably means they're betting the controversy will simply go away. Or maybe they feel the onus is on Facebook for giving them access to so much user data. After all, advertisers always take what they can get, right?

They may not be able to dodge the issue so easily. Their lack of comment is in striking contrast to Beacon's media news blast one month ago, when many came out in vocal support of the "revolutionary" peer recommendation program. More than 30 companies, including Blockbuster, Sony, STA Travel, eBay, The New York Times Co. and IAC, have implemented Beacon on their Web sites -- 44 in total.

When grilled by the press, companies were asked: If they implemented the program, what actions do they track; has the controversy changed things? If so, are they comfortable with the program's extensive tracking? and do they alert users that their actions are transmitted back to Facebook. Most did not respond, those that did expressed anything from "cautious optimism to open disappointment."

Well, well, well...
Facebook, don't get all excited just because I'm giving you attention again. I'm only bringing up this article, because Boing Boing pointed me to the fact that Beacon is illegal!
Not only that, but the case they mention involves Blockbuster in 1988, prohibiting video stores telling people what customers rented. If they did, they were subject to a fine.
BLOCKBUSTER!! You did this in 1988 and now you're repeating your mistakes. You should have known better.
And are in a grown up world. Just because you are run by a 3 year old doesn't mean it's a 'practice', this is for reals!

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