Another Facebook Privacy Debacle Looming?

Today at the OMMA Social in New York City, Seth Goldstein, founder of social media advertising network SocialMedia, announced a new service for advertisers called “Friendship Ranks.” The new service combines data related to peoples’ interactions on Facebook applications to generate more effectively targeted ads. Seth also formally announced “social banners”, a service the company has been experimenting with over the past few months.

The “social banners” are an opt-out advertising service which resides within Facebook applications. Sound familiar? The whole Facebook beacon “fiasco” (as it was coined by the press), was due to it being an opt-out service. SocialMedia has been able to figure out a way to display your friends within advertisements that are present on applications. Technically, they’ve also figured out a way to display a fair amount of this information outside of Facebook.

Two weeks ago while attending the Graphing Social Patterns East conference, one of the attendees approached me to show a page on’s website that was able to display targeted ads to me based on information they had collected. I have included a screenshot below. Initially, I chose not to write a post on the issue because I wanted to make sure I got all the facts right.

Read more on the Social Times.