All you need to know about Facebook'sBeacon is contained in the Wikipedia entry for the damn thing:
Beacon is a part of Facebook's Ads system that sends data from external websites to Facebook, ostensibly for the purpose of allowing targeted advertisements, and allowing users to share their activities with their friends. Beacon was launched on November 6, 2007 with fourty-four partner websites.
And as you may know, Facebook's Beacom orginal itent was to automatically sent your friends information on your purchases on participating sites, unless you acted to prevent it.
While other bloggers are trying to figure out whether Facebook has really and truly changed Beacon from opt-out to opt-in, I am not going to stop there. I am going to say what needs to be said.
I don't like this policy. Opt-in or opt-out. How dare you, Facebook to assume you have any right to do what you want with the information you gather about what I purchase online?
In fact, I'm so angry at Facebook, I am just about to stop using it until they sheet-can Beacon and admit this privacy-invading concept was a bad idea to begin with.
After critical stories about Beacon in The New York Times, and some forthright stands from MoveOn.org, Facebook now says they've switched from an opt-out to an opt-in policy about these targeted ads.
That's not enough for me.
And don't tell me, "Fecebook," that Beacon is necessary for your business strategy. Months before you announced that damn thing, you were informally but widely valued at $15 billion. So it is difficult for me to see how Beacon is anything more than a privacy-invading, ill-conceived cash cow.
Facebook, it is time for you, Mark Zuckerberg, and your cronies to face the truth.
Beacon was a bad idea.
Beacon must die.
Beacon must die. Now.