I’ve been writing quite a lot about Beacon lately, I admit. However, Facebook has become the dominant player in social networking, and it seems worth it to keep a watchful eye on the company’s moves.
On Friday, PC World reported a Computer Associates security researcher discovered Beacon transmits user data to Facebook, even if the user is not logged into the site and has declined to broadcast Beacon partner data.
This seems contrary to Facebook’s promise of privacy and definitely not what users have demanded.
Seems like history repeating.
Several years ago, there were reports, including one in the New York Times, that websites were dropping cookies onto user hard drives and revealing all sorts of information previously thought to have been private.
Then came word that retailers were using those cookies to target ads and change product prices. People purchasing the same thing on the same site were charged different costs based on their browsing behavior, which was stored in the cookies.
So though I am in the camp that thinks Facebook is not to be trusted and has made a huge business blunder, I wonder what other sites (including news and blogger sites) have been grabbing, storing and using cookie data for fun and profit but not making it obvious?