Liberal watchdog group MoveOn.org is making allegations that Facebook’s new social advertising strategy is violating users privacy. The service in question is called Beacon and is explained in this passage from CNET.com:
Beacon, which is part of Facebook’s new social advertising strategy, broadcasts information about members’ activity on third-party partner sites to their friends’ “News Feeds.” MoveOn’s campaign has cited problems with the program ranging from its potential to reveal a user’s entire holiday shopping list to the possibility that it might expose sensitive information that could put someone at risk.
Is MoveOn.org right? Are Facebook user’s privacy rights being violated? I’m not really sure. I’m inclined to agree with Jessica, who has noted over on her blog, that people (like this guy) who post personal details about themselves online and then complain when others find their information have a weak case.
What I AM interested in knowing is why MoveOn.org has a HUGE banner headline on their Web site complaining about Facebook, and then IMMEDIATELY encourages people to USE Facebook.
Isn’t it kind of hard to make the case that MoveOn.org really cares all that much about privacy when it’s asking them to become active in the system it is raging against? Wouldn’t a better strategy involve asking folks to switch to an alternate, privacy-friendly social networking site like…well….there isn’t really one, but you get my point.
UPDATE: MoveOn.org explains their strategy in the comments section (Thanks, Adam)