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Facebook caves after privacy faux pax

CEO attempts to fix social-networking blunder

Meanwhile, user Paulette Altmaier noted on the forum that "It's much too early to declare victory. It's not in our interests to have our personally identifiable information aggregated by anyone. An opt-out from publishing is not enough - we want an opt-out from affiliate sites sending anything to Facebook," she wrote.

Another Facebook user, Simon Smith, said that he welcomed the move for the global opt-out, but also noted that Zuckerberg still "needs to build trust and talk straight".

Some of the privacy experts who have been criticising Facebook about the intrusiveness of Beacon, said that the company is still not doing enough to protect its users from data collection.

Jeff Chester, executive director of the Center for Digital Democracy, said that "Beacon is just one aspect of a massive data collection and targeting system put into place by Facebook. Zuckerberg's goal, as he explained it on November 6, 2007 was to transform it into 'a completely new way of advertising online.' [He] can't simply now do a digital 'mea culpa' and hope that Facebook's disapproving members, privacy advocates and government regulators will disappear."

Nonetheless, Chester did call the move to provide a global opt out option "a step in the right direction".

Kathryn Montgomery, professor of communication at American University, called the announcement a "stop gap" aimed at calming a widespread public outcry from consumer groups.

"The move to allow users to turn Beacon off entirely may restore a small measure of control to Facebook's members, but it is by no means an adequate safeguard for ensuring privacy protection on this and other social networking platforms," she said in a statement. "These companies are continuing full steam ahead with a new generation of intrusive marketing practices that are based on unprecedented levels of data collection and personal profiling."


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