Facebook just launched a targeted advertising platform. Suddenly, all that data you entered about yourself will be used to target advertising to you. Were you expecting it?
This is worse than Gmail, because when gmail launched, they told you upfront that they were using your mail content to target ads. You could make the conscious choice to opt in or not. With Facebook, it wasn’t nearly as clear, when users started entering data, that it would then be used this way.
Here’s TechCrunch’s take:
As far as privacy goes, there is none on Facebook, in that any information you share is fair game for targeting by advertisers. So get used to it. You don’t want to be targeted, don’t share information on Facebook.
I’m sorry, but no, I refuse this defeatist attitude. When did I consent to have advertisers see my data? What other applications is Facebook preparing that will use my data in unexpected ways? Facebook is doing wonderful things, connecting people in new and fascinating ways, but they are data stewards, and they should take it seriously and give users the option to opt out.
There’s a privacy page on Facebook that lets me control how much my friends see. Why can’t I have the same options to control how much advertisers/other Facebook applications see?