Facebook Planning To Give Away Your Data To "Partners"

While you may never have signed up for a specific site, Facebook may begin giving away some of your data without your permission according to a new privacy policy change the company is considering. While it may not be a Beacon fiasco yet, it’s a similar idea. As the company writes, “In the proposed privacy policy, we’ve also explained the possibility of working with some partner websites that we pre-approve to offer a more personalized experience at the moment you visit the site.”

While Facebook usually launches privacy settings that give the users more granular control, there are also occasions during which the company crosses the line and this could end up being one of those instances. Facebook’s current defense for this new program is that “In such instances, we would only introduce the feature with a small, select group of partners and we would also offer new controls.”

Granted, we are not totally clear about the instances in which Facebook will share your information, but it’s pretty clear that this is another sort of “opt-out” feature that led to a heated privacy debate years ago. In addition to potentially sharing your data with participating sites the moment you visit them, Facebook is announcing some other privacy changes, including a previous emphasis on adding “a location to something you post.”

Now it appears as though Facebook is contemplating integrating location data with Facebook Pages. Rather than having an absolute location, any store, office, or general meeting spot can have a corresponding Facebook Page which includes geographic coordinates. This gives us some significant hints as to how Facebook’s Open Graph API will integrate with location.

In theory, companies will be able to assign a location value to their Facebook Pages and then when customers visit that company, they will be able to “become a fan” as well as “check in”. Some of this also aligns with other chatter we’ve heard that all of this will eventually be tracked through Facebook’s Page Insights product (which is expected to be upgraded in the near future).

Despite the exciting product launches that are implied by Facebook’s proposed updates to the Privacy Policy and Statement of Rights and Responsibilities, there are some aspects that many users will be concerned about. The most concerning is Facebook’s decision to enable users to be automatically logged into sites by default without their approval.

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