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Facebook responds to criticism from MoveOn

Alex Christie

21 November 2007

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Facebook issued a statement on Tuesday in response to criticism that was made by the online activist group MoveOn.org.   According to the activist group, Facebook’s "Beacon" advertising program is a violation of the user’s privacy.

"We encourage feedback from our users on new products," the Facebook statement read, "but in this case, the MoveOn.org-led group misrepresents how Facebook Beacon works. Beacon gives users an easy way to share relevant information from other sites with their friends on Facebook."

The main idea of Beacon, which is part of FaceBook’s new social advertising strategy, is to share information about users activity on third-party sites to their friends "News Feeds". MoveOn has cited problems with the program that their might be a possibility to expose sensitive information about the user that could put them at risk.

Facebook’s statement stressed that because the information is not public, it isn’t an invasion of privacy. "Information is shared with a small selection of a user’s trusted network of friends, not publicly on the Web or with all Facebook users," the statement explained. "Users also are given multiple ways to choose not to share information from a participating site, both on that site and on Facebook."

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