Facebook is evil (even when their staff don't know it)

Your data is not yours on Facebook but it shouldn't be totally theirs.

The internet makes it incredibly hard to not to publicly contradict yourself. My favorite examples are always Microsoft and open source, but it seems that Facebook is the new poster child for executives who have no idea what's going on with their companies.

In an interview last week with the NY Times, a Facebook exec ensured us that Beacon wasn't sending information after you logged out.

"Absolutely not. One of the things we are still trying to do is dispel a lot of misinformation that is being propagated unnecessarily," Palihapitiya replied.

But wait...as it turns out, Facebook is/was tracking information

Facebook's controversial Beacon ad system tracks users' off-Facebook activities even if those users are logged off from the social-networking site and have previously declined having their activities on specific external sites broadcast to their Facebook friends, a company spokesman said via e-mail over the weekend.

Hey, no problem...we're deleting it!

Although according to the spokesman Facebook does nothing with the data transmitted back to its servers in these cases and deletes it, the admission will probably fan the flames of the controversy engulfing Beacon, which has been criticized by privacy advocates.

Oh yeah, it's really easy to parse out the exact data and delete it...which is why they didn't know about it in the first place. Plus nothing is *ever* deleted. It would be great if one of the Facebook development team would publish how they are parsing and cleaning out the log files.

About the author

Dave Rosenberg has more than 15 years of technology and marketing experience that spans from Bell Labs to startup IPOs to open-source and cloud software companies. He is CEO and founder of Nodeable, co-founder of MuleSoft, and managing director for Hardy Way. He is an adviser to DataStax, IT Database, and Puppet Labs.


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