Facebook Privacy: an oxymoron?

Today as I stood in line to buy coffee, I read this piece from AllFacebook.com by Nick O’Neill. Quoting:

-Instant Personalization Opt-Out-It’s pretty outrageous to watch Facebook defend something which is obviously unethical. I’m talking about the company’s “Instant Personalization” program which the company forces users into, whether they like it or not. Despite the ongoing public criticism about the service, and a number of other products, Facebook is standing strong, arguing that users “love” what Facebook is doing.

On Facebook’s “Privacy” page where you can control this (the one shown in the screenshot above), they introduce it as:

Facebook’s instant personalization pilot program helps you connect more easily with your friends on select partner sites.

Doesn’t sound that bad, huh? The problem with this is that you are OPTED IN automatically, which is intrinsically wrong. At least <start_sarcasm>we are fortunate that we can opt out!<end_sarcasm>

A few years ago, it was Microsoft… then it was Google… now it’s Facebook… the big gorilla in the room always seems to make decisions that they are willing to defend no matter what, in spite of not necessarily being in the best interest of anyone but themselves. :(