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Facebook Instant Personalization

Here we go again

Today Facebook released “Instant Personalization”, a feature that allows granted Facebook partners to use your public information in your Facebook profile and use it to personalize their own pages. This would be websites like the Bing search engine, Pandora, and Yelp, that can use your name, picture, gender, and connections, to potentially personalize the results.

This is yet another breaking down of the Facebook privacy wall and what bothers me the most is that the change is enabled by default. Many will probably never know the change occurred.
Here’s an interesting overview of how privacy has changed at Facebook over time with the Electronic Frontier Foundation timeline.

Bottom line is, know what information of yours Facebook deems as “public”.
If you haven’t already done so, you should review what information of yours is determined to be public at Facebook and clean it up accordingly.

You can also turn off Instant Personalization, as follows”

  • 1. Log into Facebook. Go to your Account, Privacy Settings
  • 2. Under Apps and websites, select Edit your settings
  • <3. Under Instant personalization, select Edit settings. You may see a popup called ‘Understanding instant personalization’. Just hit Close
  • 4. At the bottom of the page, uncheck the box labeled Enable instant personalization on partner websites

You can blame Facebook if you like, but when it comes to the Internet the responsibility is squarely in your court to make sure what you want private is, in fact, private.

Do you agree with Facebook on this? Do you think you’ll turn Instant Personalization off?