Facebook's Beacon Problem: Still Not Going Away

Facebook’s Beacon problem really shouldn’t be a problem, argues VentureBeat’s Eric Eldon. Eric’s logic:

• No one really cares about privacy on the Web.
• No one really cares about Beacon – only 25,000 people have signed onto MoveOn’s petition
• Beacon is really just Facebook’s fancy term for cookies, and everyone uses cookies: If cookies were a problem, people would be up in arms about every web ad platform.

Eric’s right about all of the above. And he’s 100% wrong, because he’s not talking about the real problem with Beacon: It tells your Facebook friends what you’re doing on other web sites, and what you’re buying there.

That’s just plain creepy, even by the always-on, nothing-to-hide standards of today’s Web users. And the more that people hear about it — remember that MoveOn launched its campaign shortly before Thanksgiving, when the only news most people are interested in are traffic reports and flight delays — the more trouble Facebook is going to have. It doesn’t matter how many actual Facebook users have a problem with Beacon. It just matters that certain people (advertisers, politicians, news assignment editors, etc) think that there’s a problem. And they do, and they will.

Related: How To Solve Facebook’s Beacon Problem
Facebook’s Beacon Infuriates Users, MoveOn

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