Facebook’s sneakiness

Published: November 22nd, 2007

Well, it had to happen. With so many people flocking to Facebook, it was only a matter of time before retailers started trying to nose their way into the community and find out what its members' buying habits are.Although Facebookers like their openness and enjoy the idea of sharing their lives with those they're hooked up with, it seems that the agreement between Facebook and some major retailers has gone even too far for them. Now, if users do not opt out of a program whereby details of purchases are sent to thier friends, everyone in their network will be notified what they bought. To prevent this from happening, users have to un-click a box. If they don't happen to see that checked box, they are considered to be “with the program.”That could potentially ruin a lot of Christmas surprises and has seemingly pushed the privacy boundaries for a large portion of users. The backlash, I'm sure, was not unexpected by the involved companies. What they're most interested in will be the degree of the backlash. How far can we push initiatives like this? is the question they are no doubt trying to answer.Everyone on Facebook should regognize that more of these types of intrusions, in the interests of identifying spending habits, will be carried out as long as Facebook is the social networking behemoth it is. But it's safe to say that the use of such “negative-option” sign-up methods is nothing short of a sneaky and slimy tactic on the parts of Facebook and its conspirators. It should be brought to a halt immediately.

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