Just An Online Minute... Facebook's 'Fix' Really Isn't
"Facebook is listening to feedback from its users and committed to evolving Beacon," a spokesman said in an e-mailed statement. "Facebook already has made changes to ensure that no information is shared unless a user receives notifications both on a participating website and on Facebook."
In fact, however, it's hard to determine what -- if anything -- is different now.
When the program launched, it allowed members to opt out of having information shared about specific buys at the point-of-purchase and again on Facebook. The problem was that users didn't see and/or understand the opt-out notices. And, really, they didn't have much opportunity to do so, given that some point-of-purchase notices were served via vanishing pop-ups that were available for only 20 seconds.
When pressed about how the statement distributed to the media yesterday reflected any changes, the spokesman said, "We fixed a technical issue to be sure the first notification fully displayed since some users were missing it."
Well, if that's the case -- if Facebook's "fixed" something so that the notifications it intended to launch with actually work -- it's hardly worth bragging about.
If Facebook wants to implement a real fix here, it will listen to the 25,000-plus users who have joined the MoveOn protest group, "Petition: Facebook, stop invading my privacy!" and stop telling members' friends about their purchases when there's any doubt about whether the members want to share that information.