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Facebook Instantly Sharing Your Data With Third Parties
For years at my old job, every single time we added a new sweepstakes, contest or any new data capture form, all of the corporate parties would sit around a table and discuss the various elements of what data we were capturing. The area that we always had debate centered around whether we would default the opt-in marketing box to on or off. We always made the default off because we only wanted customers on our lists that actually wanted to be on our lists. Clearly if we were at Facebook, the default option would have a different initial result.
Last night I asked on Twitter if the new Facebook “socialization” options would be automatically transferred to sites that are using the Facebook widgets and APIs. Everyone basically said the same thing – that you must click the button to connect the website with Facebook.
Today I’ve confirmed my fear…Facebook is sharing our profile and usage data with third parties from the first moment you land on one of their “trusted partners”. Sure you need to opt-in to this “instant personalization” but guess what… Facebook already checked the box for you!
Before I continue let me make it very clear that I am ok with websites enhancing their services for your pleasure using Facebook data when you specifically choose to – each and every time. And at a minimum, that checkbox should be opt-in not opt-out.
I asked my sister who is a very active Facebook user about the instant personalization and her response was, “Nooo!”
Please go have a look at Bobbi Newman’s post — she takes a detailed look at what Facebook is doing with their instant personalization and how to opt-out. What makes Bobbi’s investigation really stick is the bit that even if you turn off the instant personalization, your friends may just share your data with Facebook’s trusted partners anyway! Liz Gannes at GigaOm has additional thoughts and calls this selection a, “privacy hairball”.
To fully opt-out of the new instant personalization, you must do two things:
- Go to privacy settings which is under the profile link then Applications and Websites and uncheck the box at the bottom to remove Instant Personalization
- Then click on the links to Yelp, Pandora and Docs.om on Facebook and click on “Block Application”
It seems there are only a few trusted partners today. I can only assume that trusted partners really means “they paid us a bucket of cash”. And what this also means is that there will be more trusted partners in the future.
Will we ever see Google do the same thing? Imagine what Google could share with their partners based on how much Google knows about each of us.
I am disappointed in Facebook.
Are you ok with Facebook automatically sharing your data (and your friend data) when you land on Yelp without your specific authorization to share for that site?