Buckling under a blistering poopy pile of criticism, Facebook will now let users turn off Beacon completely. [Facebook]


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  1. Hooray! However, if I understand Zuckerberg’s explanation, participating sites will continue to send data to Facebook—fb simply pledges not to store said data.

    …if you turn off Beacon, then Facebook won’t store those actions even when partners send them to Facebook.

    Maybe that’s a function of how the system was set up—retailers send data to fb no matter what your prefs are, even if you’ve “turned it off” completely? Who the hell designed that system?

  2. Meg Marco says:

    @Chris Walters: Marketing people.

  3. UpsetPanda says:

    So they don’t store the data, but they still get it…now, we presume that’s only for the people who don’t turn off Beacon. I just did, so any information on my buying habits should not be going to fb…but for some reason, if they are, they can still compile it all into a handy demographics report, or give out information (there are always loopholes) – they just won’t store it.

  4. silvanx says:

    Amazing how muchy pressure needs to be applied before some people will do the right thing…

  5. DriverB says:

    For pete’s sake. You think they would have learned NOT to spring these things on people from the last time, when they started publishing all your actions to the mini-feed, and the people rose up in agitation. You can fool some people twice, all of the time, shame on me? Suck it, Facebook. You used to be so much cooler.

  6. chucklebuck says:

    @Chris Walters:

    If I had to guess (and this is 100% guessing), it’s probably set up that way because the retailers won’t have access to your Facebook prefs. I assume they have access to your Facebook name or ID via a cookie, so they can pair up your id with your retail activity, but only Facebook would know whether or not to publish it.

  7. hypnotik_jello says:

    As I understand it, Facebook will still receive data from 3rd party sites and can and possibly will still aggregate your data. It just won’t broadcast that information to your friends. I personally don’t use FaceBook, but for those that do… if you’re really paranoid, I’d say use the Firefox Adblocking extensions.

  8. Mr. Gunn says:

    It’s still not fixed. Stores are still sending data about people, even people who’ve never signed up for facebook, to facebook.

    – Old way –
    Marketer: “I’d like you to tell me all about your customer’s buying habits.”
    Store: “Sure, just pay me a bunch of money and don’t tell anyone.”

    – New Way –
    Marketer 2.0: “I’d like you to tell me all about your customer’s buying habits.”
    Store: “OK”

  9. Mr. Gunn says:

    Hypnotik is right. Add [facebook.com] to your adblock, or install [debeacon.org]

  10. Buran says:

    Uhm, instead of whining about how someone else’s site does its thing, why not just not sign up for that site? Geez. It’s like people don’t read agreements anymore.

    Oh wait…

  11. EtherealStrife says:

    @Buran: When many of the “whiners” signed up for the website Beacon was not around. Since facebook does not announce every change it makes, the inclusion of Beacon was unknown to a large chunk of the user base. At least, until it was made public and a Big Deal.

  12. magic8ball says:

    Zuckerberg makes me feel stabby. It is not “turned off.” The data is still getting sent to Facebook; they’re just not rebroadcasting it. Thanks a lot, that’s much better! ‘Scuse me, I’m off to get my Firefox extension.

  13. Quellman says:

    All I wanted to do was to find the location of the turn it off button. I had to skim the article more than once. Crafty devil.

  14. floydianslip6 says:

    Send it to us, but we won’t store it? What a load of shit. Any developer in the world knows that shits ending up in a database SOMEWHERE.

  15. camman68 says:

    It seems most people do not care about this. Otherwise, they wouldn’t shop at stores like Dillon’s, King Soopers, Kroger, Safeway, etc. These stores offer lower prices as long as the customer agrees to let them track their purchases.

    What do the stores do with this info? Is it tied to your phone number, credit card number or maybe your name and address?

    Additionally, the stores probably tie this info to customers whether they use the discount card or not. All of this info is probably available to store management if the stores saves it with your check or debit/credit card.

    The only way around it is to always pay cash and not use the store card. Of course, they still have cameras.

  16. @Buran: That doesn’t stop Facebook from getting information about you from the companies sending data to Beacon. They are sending info about everybody, not just people with a Facebook cookie on their computer.

  17. kimsama says:

    Yeah, I’ll also still be keeping it on my BlockSite.

  18. chuloallen says:

    @kimsama: and make it a point not to shop where Beacon is used

  19. truebluegeeks says:

    so consumerist…. when facebook (or any other “evil” company) does something bad, you post a huge article with a big picture and a huge headline. But when they fix the “problem” (i use quotes because I find data mining nothing wrong after you sign the terms of service to allow them to do so) you post a little snippet of a article that almost everyone will overlook. Consumerist, you bias, rumor as absolute truth, sensationalist, tabloid-esque “reporting” (if you can even call it that) sucks.

  20. othium says:

    I am still glad I canceled my account.

    It took a little searching on the web but I came across a site that explained how.


  21. @truebluegeeks: First, If you’d read the comments you’d know the problem hasn’t been fixed completely.

    Secondly, they have posted “screw up fixed/resolved” stories and used large headlines and photos.

    Thirdly, some of the “company screwed up” articles don’t have a photo or large headline. The one for UnitedHealth Group for example or the MPAA toolkit.

    Some of the articles are just small and short. There is no conspiracy.