Yahoo!: We care about your privacy

Yahoo! executive Jonathan Katzman responds in an Op-Ed to my post about their use of the Facebook Open Graph API.

In the wake of the publication of my post Yahoo! is a Facebook API molester regarding the company's use of the Facebook Open Graph API, I have extended the opportunity for the company to publish an Op-Ed response. The following comments have been written by Yahoo executive Jonathan Katzman, Senior Director of Social Product Experiences -- Jason Perlow

Your friends are interesting; Yahoo! lets you discover what they find interesting.

Over the last few weeks, Facebook's experiments in the News Feed have opened up a new round of discussion about Open Graph applications. In light of this, I wanted to tell you more about Yahoo!'s own experience - the Yahoo! Social Bar. Wlaunched Social Bar last September, making it easy to let your friends guide you to more stories and information than ever before.

First off, we care about and respect our users’ privacy and kept that top of mind when designing Social Bar, so it’s always clear what content is shown to friends on both Facebook and Yahoo!. In fact, Facebook has even featured us in their developer posts as a great model for other sites to follow.

Social Bar has been a big success. But don't just take my word for it. It is now the #2 consumer Facebook app on the AppData leader board, just behind CityVille in terms of monthly active users. More than 55 million people around the world have opt-ed in to use the experience, and it’s available across Yahoo! sites around the world in dozens of languages on Yahoo! News, omg!, Shine, Yahoo! Screen, Yahoo! Sports, and many more sites globally.

While we’re thrilled with the popularity of the experience, we also knew from the get-go that this feature would not be for everyone. We designed it to be a completely “opt-in” experience. People who choose to use it have granular control over what they share, and the ability to easily turn it off. These control features are not hidden on a settings page. We put them right next to your profile picture on every piece of content that you share.

Here’s a look at some of the controls I’ve described.

· Social On: automatic sharing is on, with the option to be notified each time you share.

· Social Off: no automatic sharing of content.

· Your Activity: granular control to delete any content from your activity on both Facebook and Yahoo!.

Over the coming months, Yahoo! experiences will continue to evolve, delivering a more social and personalized reflection of the content you love. I hope you’ll come by Yahoo! and check it out.

-Jonathan Katzman, Senior Director, Yahoo! Social Product Experiences

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