I think the furor is about the fact online consumers are being “forced” to reveal their shopping habits, not so much that the system exists.
We have to take action to opt OUT, vs. taking action to opt IN. This is counter to the entire permission-based marketing philosophy, in my opinion.
And yes, it sticks in my throat. It makes me cautious about buying stuff online. It makes me want to steer clear of the Facebook Beacon Affiliates – no offense to them, I just want to be more at choice.
Granted, retailers give us about a twenty-second window to happen to notice a small pop-up saying Facebook is about to publish a story. (Don’t understand “stories” and “publishing”? The pop up might not make sense to you).
For more exciting Beacon blogging, I recommend these hot posts:
- The Beacon: Clever or Creepy? by Sarah Wurrey
- Close encounter with Facebook Beacon by Charlene Li (husband and wife buy the same coffee table online!)
- Beacon concerns, like News Feed concerns of a year ago, will fade by Justin Smith
- How to block Facebook Beacon by Brad Linder (for Firefox users, install BlockSite)
- Facebook Beacon isn’t in the user’s interest (that means you) by Jonathan Trenn
- FTC Complaint Being Filed Against Facebook by Nick O’Neill (hear, hear for the global opt-out feature!!)
Bear in mind, your privacy IS under your control on Facebook. Be sure to click on that teeny white link at the top right of any Facebook page that says “privacy“. You’ll notice a new addition to the settings – “External Websites“. My only beef with that setting, however, is Facebook’s Beacon partners have already done their tracking thang before you get a chance to go in and edit.
In other words, if you haven’t yet made a purchase from one of the 40+ Facebook affiliate sites, you’ll see nada, zip, zero on your External Websites setting. Facebook says, “No sites have tried sending stories to your profile.” Er, yeah – emphasis on “tried”, eh?
What do you think? Have you had experience (yet) of Facebook Beacon’s stealth tactics?