Quoted by USNews.com about Facebook and Hotwire Privacy

A columnist on the US News & World Report website quotes me in a follow-up article about the less than happy experience I had with Hotwire and Facebook privacy violations.

I’ve seen a lot of bloggers and news articles miss the real point, especially today with Facebook saying they’ll change the Beacon program. My biggest issue was not so much that Facebook made my Hotwire rental visible as part of an opt-out program, it was that Facebook had that information in the first place. What Facebook does or does not do with the data is a separate question from the fact that Hotwire is giving them information about me in the first place without my permission.

As I told Hotwire, I believe that their actions violate their own privacy policy which says

Q: Will my email address or personal info be given to third parties?

A: Absolutely not! All personal information is kept strictly confidential and is only used for making bookings through Hotwire. Only the personal information necessary to complete a transaction is passed on to third parties. For example, the airline carrier issuing the ticket will need your information.

Facebook should not have any information about anything I do with regard to Hotwire. Hotwire did not have my permission to pass that information to Facebook, whether they did it through Javascript, browser cookies, or carrier pigeon. That’s why I will not use Hotwire ever again.