Yahoo!: We care about your privacy

Yahoo!: We care about your privacy

Summary: 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

Topics: Legal, Social Enterprise


Jason Perlow, Sr. Technology Editor at ZDNet, is a technologist with over two decades of experience integrating large heterogeneous multi-vendor computing environments in Fortune 500 companies. Jason is currently a Partner Technology Strategist with Microsoft Corp. His expressed views do not necessarily represent those of his employer.

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  • Yahoo's Social Experiments???????

    I have never seen so much pablum fed to the masses! yahoo's answer: "talk a lot but say nothing".
    What do they know?? Who do they track?? I have never trusted anyone who starts out by saying "trust me, I'm not a crook".
    Another person once told the world that his social experiments were for our own good; his name was Hitler.
    and the masses run for the slippery slope. . . .
  • What???

    "In light of this, I wanted to tell you more about Yahoo!???s own experience - the Yahoo! Social Bar."

    Umm, what? All Jason wanted was to read an article, I don't think he was interested in some "social bar."

    I personally wouldn't be interested in such a bar. This is such an absurd response on so many levels.

    "People who choose to use it have granular control over what they share"

    As proven by Jason's screenshots in his previous article - no, wait, they are a perfect example of a total lack of granularity! When you decide to connect Yahoo to Facebook, you opt into everything or nothing at all.

    Not to mention this from Jason's previous article:

    "Once you???ve authorized Yahoo that first time, all future reads of articles on their web sites are also posted to your profile, whether you like it or not."

    I'm sorry, Jason's article reads like the polar opposite of what Yahoo is claiming. I don't see the opt-in or granularity in Jason's previous article. It was all or nothing, and [b]every[/b] feature of the Yahoo thing was turned on once he allowed it.

    This is why, frankly, I don't care for these stupid "social" apps or whatnot. They're more trouble than they're worth.
  • Wow Jason, I think the comments section has been taken over by spammers!

    Is there anything ZdNet can do to stop this? It seems to be getting worse lately...
  • On the verge

    I'm on the verge of deleting my Facebook account. I did make it a point to logout and remove all cookies from my primary browser, and now make it a point to only look at Facebook on a secondary browser to avoid cross-contamination of what I read and surf with whatever Facebook is tracking.

    Do I bother to do the same with Google? Nope, and the difference is I trust Google more than I trust Zuckerberg.
  • バーバリー マフラー

    それがあなたの記事は非常に素晴らしいですが、あなたの記事を読むための私の喜びです。共有をありがとう!バーバリー マフラー