Facebook - do we need to worry?

image Facebook, which continues to amaze with its impressive growth in users, is getting a bit of a bad boy reputation.

First there was the snafu with Beacon. Beacon is an ad serving application that tracks purchases made by Facebook users on partner sites (this data is sent back to Facebook from the partner sites such as Sony Online, Zappos and 44 other sites). If you bought a ring for your wife on Overstock.com, it would show up in your profile on Facebook , and be visible to all your friends (this happened to an FB user). The privacy concerns had users in an uproar, particularly as Facebook elected to make the Beacon notifications opt-out, rather than opt-in.

Facebook has since changed the system so that users now need to give permission for their purchases to be visible to their friends. And Mark Zukerberg, CEO of Facebook, has apologized on his blog.

While for now, the controversy seems to have blown over for Facebook, it still leaves the one big question. Should merchants even be supplying private information regarding their customers purchases to third parties - Facebook or anyone else? It seems to me that the companies providing the data should be shouldering a whole lot more of the blame than Facebook. For now, the Beacon partner sites are still passing the data back to Facebook. Facebook’s assertion that they will delete the data unless a user chooses to make the information public, does not give a very warm and fuzzy feeling.

image Recently, Facebook has also gotten in hot water for luring away employees at other companies. The company is growing with a vengeance and plans to double its battalion of 700 employees by next year. Even in Silicon Valley, it is no mean feat to find that many techhies in such short order. Google has felt the pinch of losing a few key workers. And then one employee left Techcrunch, causing them to get on the war path with Facebook (there is a funny post Hey Facebook, WTF? Stay Away From TechCrunchers from Michael Arrington regarding one of his recent hires, Ben Meyers, jumping ship for Facebook stock options).

But like they say, fame is a short hop away from notoriety. Facebook seems to be benefiting from continuously being in the buzz, both good and bad, given the astronomical valuations the company seems to be commanding these days!

One Response to “Facebook - do we need to worry?”

  1. By Sujoy on Dec 8, 2021 | Reply

    Hi Toni,

    Thanks for linking to my blog. Seems someone’s reading eh! Great post!


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