Facebook Founder Apologizes For Beacon Program
Mark Zuckerberg's Beacon aimed to push advertising further than before but it finally pushed too far. As more and more users began complaining that the application was too intrusive, the Facebook founder had to step back and issue an apology.
December 6, 2007
“the problem with our initial approach of making it an opt-out system instead of opt-in was that if someone forgot to decline to share something, Beacon still went ahead and shared it with their friends. It took us too long after people started contacting us to change the product so that users had to explicitly approve what they wanted to share. Instead of acting quickly, we took too long to decide on the right solution. I'm not proud of the way we've handled this situation and I know we can do better.”
While it may sound better than the initial Beacon presentation, be advised that the problem still lies there, buried deep beneath withing the code. At first you may think that turning Beacon off completely means that the advertising scheme is out of your Facebook life. However,
“If you select that you don't want to share some Beacon actions or if you turn off Beacon, then Facebook won't store those actions even when partners send them to Facebook.”
Bottom line, you switch Beacon off, we continue to get data on you, whether you like it or not. We promise not to store it, but we'll certainly make use of it if we can. From where I stand, this is a classical door-in-the-face technique. First you come up with an outrageous proposal you know very well it would be refused. Later on, you come up with an alternative and everyone is happy for not having to comply with the previous request.