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Main > Archives > 2007 > November > Facebook's About Face on Privacy

Friday, November 30, 2007

Facebook's About Face on Privacy

Some marketing decisions are so obviously bad that reversing course is the only way to go. Hence, Facebook's quick change of heart on its Beacon platform.

Automatically broadcast users' purchases and activities from partner sites was seen as invasive by the media (which for once acted responsibly) and by Facebook users. Asking consumers to opt in each time they do something on a partner site is a good start, but not far enough.

Facebook should make the entire system opt-in and not require clicks to decline participation every time you do something somewhere. It is burdensome and I'm sure Facebook users will find it annoying. A privacy setting on Facebook should provide a universal opt out.

More importantly, Facebook needs to offer something in return for tracking consumer activities. If the company provides an incentive, than perhaps Facebook will find the marketing gold that it thought it had in Facebook. Partners could offer discounts to Facebook customers, or maybe some free music downloads. If you want something from me, you better be willing to offer something as compensation. Otherwise their is no incentive to participate in giving up one's privacy.

By John Gartner at 07:24 AM | Comments (0)

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