Facebook tweaks Beacon again, Zuckerberg apologizes

Facebook has modified its controversial Beacon ad system once again, now letting people decline participation in it completely.

Facebook is giving members of its social network the ability to completely decline participating in the company's controversial Beacon ad system, a reaction to intense criticism that Beacon is too intrusive and compromises people's privacy.

The announcement was made in an official blog post by Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Tuesday morning, in which he also apologized for missteps in the design and deployment of Beacon.

"We've made a lot of mistakes building this feature, but we've made even more with how we've handled them. We simply did a bad job with this release, and I apologize for it," Zuckerberg wrote.

The ability to skip Beacon altogether is the second major modification to the program. Last Thursday, Facebook gave members more control over Beacon and made the way it works clearer so that people could manage it properly.

Beacon, part of the company's new ad platform, tracks certain actions of Facebook users on some external sites, like Blockbuster and Fandango, in order to report those actions back to users' Facebook friends network.

The idea is to generate advertising that is more effective because it is intricately combined with people's social circle, so that products and services are promoted in a more organic way via the actions of friends and family.

More than 40 Web sites have signed up for Beacon, although not all have implemented the system. Off-Facebook activities that can be broadcast to one's Facebook friends include purchasing a product, signing up for a service and including an item on a wish list.

Still, Zuckerberg's blog posting doesn't directly address the findings of a CA security researcher that have fueled the privacy controversy over Beacon in recent days.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Struggling for Christmas presents this year? Check out our Christmas Gift Guide for some top tech suggestions and more.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Juan Carlos Perez

IDG News Service

Most Popular Reviews

Follow Us

Best Deals on GoodGearGuide

Shopping.com

Latest News Articles

Resources

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Latest Jobs

Shopping.com

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?