Facebook's idea of privacy

2007-01-08 One-minute read

Facebook retreated from it’s Beacon program thanks to the campaign organized by MoveOn.

The Beacon program automatically publishes on your Facebook page (and the Facebook pages of your friends), and as an RSS feed, purchases that you make with participating web sites like Fandango or Travelocity or Amazon.

In other words, the moment you finalize that Amazon purchase of “Want a New, Better, Fantastic Job?: How to Find Satisfying Work in This Tipsy-Turvy World” off it goes to the world (inluding your boss). The hubbub is about whether and how easy it is to opt out of this progrm.

I fully understand MoveOn’s strategy of targeting Facebook - they are the single entity publishing this information. They’re doing a bad thing and their an easy target. However, it makes me wonder about every single third party web site that has agreed to this program. Facebook couldn’t do this if Amazon said: “No thanks. We won’t provide you with that information. It’s private and belongs to our customers.”

What are the privacy policies for Amazon that allow them to report to Facebook everything that I buy?