Michael Arrington at TechCrunch agrees with me, only he has a much louder voice and a much taller platform to stand on.
If I tell the New York Times, which happens to be a Beacon partner, that I do not want to share my travel ratings or the articles I save on the NYTimes.com with Facebook, then the New York Times should not be sending that information to Facebook under any circumstances and trusting that Facebook will dispose of the information properly. Not to pick on the New York Times. The same is true of any advertising partner. That data should never be transmitted in the first place.
Which is exactly what I said earlier about Facebook Beacon. Hotwire should not be giving them any information, at all, whether Facebook makes it opt-in or not.
It looks like Facebook partner, SIx Degrees, is doing it right. They have an option on their website that allows users to opt-in to sharing information with Facebook. As slimy as the Beacon program is, if they’re going to be a part of it, that’s the way to do it right. But as it looks, Coca-Cola, Travelocity, and Overstock have all changed their mind about participating in the program. Maybe Hotwire should, too.
Facebook is being remarkably dumb in their attempt on invade the privacy of every single one of their users. Don’t be a part of it.