Saturday, 10 November 2007

Facebook 'viral' ads....more privacy concerns...

Facebook has released it's Facebook Ads initiative:

"Called Facebook Ads, the new program is threefold: advertisers can create branded pages, run targeted advertisements, and have access to intelligence and analytics pertaining to the site's more than 50 million users. Partners can participate in all three components of Facebook Ads, or a combination of them."

"Additionally, Facebook has unveiled targeted advertisements that will allow marketers to target by any information inside Facebook profiles, from relationship status to favorite television shows. Zuckerberg demonstrated the interface by targeting a hypothetical running shoe ad toward women aged 18 to 30 in New York who have listed "running" among their interests."
From: c|net 

The thing that concerns me is the 3rd one "have access to intelligence and analytics pertaining to the site's more than 50 million users"
To me, this basically reads, they get shitloads of information about you, in order to piss you off with adverts, spam and general annoyances.

I don't want companies generating a database of information about me, surely that is for me to decide. Where is the 'opt out' button? It seems that Facebook are playing this off as some kind of good thing, well to their users anyway, saying that we have asked for it. 

Basically, as far as I am concerned, there is enough junk in the news feed already, without bloody advertising to boot. 
Anyway, I have found the solution. Simply zap all your apps, turn your privacy settings right down, so apps can only see very limited data about you, and then re-add the apps, assuming you want them.

Heres a couple of stories about this issue:

Personally, I view this ad system to be as bad as adware installed on a PC. Basically, it's stealing your personal information in order to "track" your habits, and "offer" you shit you don't want.
Programs like Adaware and Windows Defender remove things called tracking cookies, which basically do exactly what this is doing, but at a much reduced level. 

The simple fact....don't trust Facebook. At all. Period.

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