Archive for November 20th, 2007

A Beacon of … creepiness?

Tuesday, November 20th, 2007

It’s now been about a month since I got my Facebook account, and I still feel ambivalent about the experience. It’s been fun connecting with some people I haven’t connected with lately. However I am a bit concerned about the potential for too much personal/confidential information getting shared with not only Facebook “friends” but with the world.

However what really strikes me as creepy is the newly announced Facebook Beacon. If I understand it correctly, it’s an advertising scheme that will allow Facebook users to add companies to their “friends” list. Subsequently the user’s activities with that “company friend” will be shared on Facebook. For example if I add Blockbuster to my friends list, and then rent Earnest Goes to Jail, the Facebook community may see that choice as being representative of my movie taste (well maybe it is representative, but not everyone needs to know that).

If that loss of privacy is the price I need to pay for a free service, don’t expect me to stick around Facebook.

I think the title of this Globe and Mail article, “Creepy genius Facebook Beacon” is appropriate.