"Each partner was pre-selected, reviewed, and is bound by contracts with Facebook; much like other partners we have worked with in other contexts to deliver unique and innovative experiences. It's important to underscore that this is a pilot program, and people are given clear notice and easy and obvious chances to opt out of this experience on the partner sites and on Facebook."
We know which websites you're visiting
There has been quite a bit of banging the drum about what information Facebook is sharing with other parties, particularly since the unveiling of the Instant Personalization concept. But Tyson says many members don't consider what information Facebook itself is collecting about you. As part of their new program, Facebook is using social plug-ins, so users can now see what other friends have "liked" or commented on other sites around the web. Facebook themselves describe their social plug-ins as "simple tools that can be dropped into any website to provide people with personalized and social experiences."
"In some ways the behavior is not that different from tracking cookies used by advertising networks," noted Tyson. "But the main difference is that Facebook now has personally identifiable information from your profile. They know you are not just an anonymous user tagged with a code on a cookie. They have a lot of information about you, your interests, specific data."
Should they have it? Tyson says while the notion certainly supports Facebooks' effort to make the web experience as personal as possible and have in them some of the beneficial features, he doubts many users don't realize the scale of information Facebook has on them and their activity beyond Facebook.
Your information is being stored in places outside of Facebook
As CSO points out in 10 Security Reason to Quit Facebook, third-party application developers can access some of your profile information when you authorize the download of an application, such as Farmville, Mafia Wars or any of the other thousands of applications users have access to through their profile.
Facebook says it requires developers to tell users which information they will access before they download, as Axten pointed out in his email to CSO.
"Applications must get explicit authorization from the user before they can access any information that's not generally available or set to 'Everyone'. Our new permissions model, which we made available to developers two weeks ago at our f8 conference, and will be mandatory for all developers starting June 1, requires applications to specify the exact categories of information they wish to access, present these to the user, and obtain express consent before any data is shared," Axten said.