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Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Facebook's Beacon Tells All Your Secrets

You know the saying "What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas"? Well, the opposite holds true for Facebook's Beacon. This feature of Facebook shouts out your business even when you might not want it known.

I will start out by saying that I have personally never liked Facebook. First, I find it kind of boring. Second, every time I turn around they want me to download something else. Their "pokes", quizzes and invitations are getting on my nerves. That is just my personal opinion. I am probably in the minority with this opinion since it seems to be a very popular site.

Facebook Beacon allows you to "Enable your customers to share the actions they take on your website with their Facebook friends". This includes actions such as purchasing a product, adding items to your wish list, signing up for a service and more. Basically, everything you do will be broadcasted to your "friends". No biggie, right? Probably not in most cases but you should give some thought to it first. ran an article called Backlash Against Facebook’s “Beacon” Begins. Here are two snippets from the article:

"Imagine this scenario. A Facebook member, you buy a nice pair of leather gloves from for your boyfriend for Hanukkah. A while later, **poof**, your choice is sent out in your news feed–a feed that broadcasts to all your friends, including er, um, that boyfriend. Dang!"


"Here’s a prediction: A boss somewhere is going to notice on a news feed some purchases by his co-worker that align with times he was supposed to be working. Watch for that article. Just like that intern who got Facebook-busted for the Halloween party, and he didn’t have a Beacon shouting about it…"

The whole article was pretty amusing but also very informative. I would not have even thought about such scenarios happening. This is sort of like a Big Brother thing. Why would you want to sign up for something that alerts people of every move you make? You just never know when it might land you in situation you would rather not be in. I think of it as the tattle tale of the net!

Maybe the reason I have never been impressed with Facebook is because I have been spoiled by participating at Flugpo. There is a sense of fun, warmth and community at Flugpo. They value the safety and privacy of their members. In fact, their values shine through in their philosophy. From their "philosophy" page:


Flugpo was developed to be a place where people can go to make friends, share photos, network personally and professionally, share ideas, buy and sell items, and list and locate jobs. We believe in a sense of community and understand that the community is a direct reflection of its members. We encourage all types of feedback, both positive and negative, as we are responsive and adaptive to the needs of the members. The more feedback we receive, the better we can make Flugpo.

We also understand that the Internet can be precarious place, therefore we consider your security and privacy to be of utmost importance. While we do everything possible to keep Flugpo safe, we understand some harmful conduct may occur. That´s why we ask you, as a member, to report any behavior that violates our Code of Conduct. Flugpo is your community, and through it we hope to make the world a little smaller, and your lives a little better.
Thank you for your support,
The Flugpo Staff."

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