Does Facebook’s Beacon Violate the Video Privacy Protection Act?

James Grimmelmann has an excellent post arguing that Blockbuster's participation in Facebook's Beacon Web tracking advertising service violates the Video Privacy Protection Act, one of the few federal privacy laws on the books in the U.S. James concludes: "Facebook and…

Facebook Apologizes (Sorta); Creates Global Opt-Out (Supposedly)

The Wall Street Journal and others point to today's apology by Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg for the Beacon fiasco. However, rather than apologizing for creating a pervasive tool for tracking and collecting user purchasing habits across the Web, or for making…

Beacon (noun): That which gives notice of danger

It is becoming increasingly apt that Facebook named their new Web tracking advertising service "Beacon." As I briefly mentioned here, Facebook now has admitted, contrary to earlier assurances, that their Beacon ad system tracks users’ off-Facebook activities even if those…

Facebook Beacon Worse than Most Thought (And Still Is)

I had a hunch... Last week we welcomed Wendy Seltzer at the Yale Information Society Project, who gave a talk on "Online Privacy in Context." Most of our discussion centered on the controversy swirling around Facebook's Beacon advertising platform, where…

Dear Facebook, Google: Please Engage in Value-Conscious Design

Much of my research strives to extend my broader social, political, and ethical explorations of information and communication technologies beyond the halls of academia and into “real-world” design contexts to pragmatically engage with designers and advocate for the value-conscious design…

Facebook Changes Beacon to How it Should Have Been Designed in the First Place

As expected, Facebook has announced changes to their controversial Beacon advertising system where users' off-site purchasing activities can be automatically displayed in the Facebook feed. The New York Times reports these changes: Stories about actions users take on external websites…

Facebook Mulling Privacy Changes, But Will It Be Sufficient?

BusinessWeek reports that Facebook has circled the wagons and might be considered changes to their controversial new Facebook Ads platform: In the wake of mounting criticism, Facebook executives are discussing changes to a controversial advertising tool that publicizes users' Web…

Link Roundup on Facebook, SocialAds, and Privacy

Facebook recently announced Facebook Ads, an attempt to monetize the vast amount of user information that flows through the social networking site (something I warned about previously). Facebook Ads has three main components: Social Ads: Allows marketers to target ads…

Bill McGeveran on Facebook, Context, and Privacy

William McGeveran, a professor at University of Minnesota Law School, points to this troubling story about a Florida State professor who made each student read aloud his/her Facebook profie, which noted how "the girls [sic] whose hobby was “being slutty”…