Something true for a change

Some times it seems that every viral message on Facebook comes from a hoax. It’s important for us to realize, though, that this isn’t always the case. For instance, you have probably seen the following post in recent weeks

FACEBOOK has a new way of sharing your personal info: As of today, there is a new privacy setting called “Instant Personalization” that shares data with non-facebook websites and it is automatically set to “Allow.” Go to Account > Privacy Settings > Applications and Websites> Instant … See Morepersonalization and uncheck “Allow”. Please copy & repost.

Despite the similarities that this shares with several hoaxes, it is completely true.

One of the biggest concerns is that Facebook will share member information with at least three partner companies: Pandora, Yelp, and Docs.com. This aspect of Fb’s recent changes is called Instant Personalization. It sounds like something that you want, but in all probability it will just generate more ads and annoyances for you.

I’ve never seen Facebook sell information to other companies without letting their members know. In fact, Fb is giving its members an opportunity to opt out of Instant Personalization. Hence the above message sprawled across thousands upon thousands of Facebook walls. It’s not as straightforward as it might seem though. Part of Facebook’s changes can make it possible for your friends to share information about you.

This makes it extremely unlikely that you can control your personal information.

What types of information?

The checklist of information includes your personal interests, status updates, posted links, photos, education and work, birthdays, and even your hometown.

What’s the solution? I’m not sure that there is one. Write Facebook and tell them that you disapprove of this business decision. That’s the first step. Let all of your friends know so that they can, in turn, let Facebook know that this is not ok.

The final result may be deleting Facebook profiles. That’s a little extreme for now, but we’ll see how the situation develops.

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~ by facebookhoaxes on April 26, 2010.

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