Final email to Hotwire on privacy

Here’s my last email in reply to Hotwire’s canned email response concerning their business relationship with Facebook selling information about my account:

On Monday 26 November 2007, Hotwire Support wrote:
> Facebook Beacon provides advanced privacy controls so Facebook users can
> decide whether to distribute specific actions from participating sites
> with their friends. If you decide to use Facebook Beacon it means you
> have chosen to share your personal online usage information.
> If you are logged onto your Facebook and complete a transaction on
> Hotwire, a pop-up window appears on the lower right corner. The pop-up
> presents a story about your booking.
> If you do nothing or close the pop-up window, the story appears on your
> friends News Feed and their own Facebook homepage Mini-Feed. If you
> click "No Thanks" the story is not published.

So you assume that I give permission, rather than asking for it? I believe that is in opposition to your privacy policy. I should have to give _explicit_ permission, not just for you to assume that I say yes. I have popups blocked on my browser, so I never saw that popup you mention. Therefore I never had a chance to say “No Thanks”. And I did not have the facebook webpage open at the time that I made the Hotwire reservation.

Does Hotwire use javascript for this popup? I have javascript disabled.

My point is, you should assume answer is “no thanks” unless I indicate otherwise. That’s called “opting-in”. Your current program is called “opting out” meaning I have to go through the work, every single time, of saying “no thanks”.

Is it possible for me to change my setting for all future reservations to “no thanks” ? I never want you giving information to facebook, regardless of what facebook does with it. I never want you giving my information to any other 3rd party. From reading your privacy policy, I thought that was the case, but it’s clearly not. You gave information about my reservation to a 3rd party without my explicit permission.

And for your information, currently, I do not believe that Facebook allows me to globally opt out of their Beacon program. I have to opt out of every single advertiser, individually.

In any case, if I can not trust you to keep my information private, I will not be making reservations with Hotwire in the future. I believe your email makes it clear that your business decisions are not made in favor of your customers.

Will it do any good? Who knows. Maybe if there’s enough hue and outcry.

Look, I’m already 3rd in the results for searching Google for Facebook and Hotwire and 6th for for hotwire privacy.