Beacon saga; facebook apologises

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Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg posted on the company blog last week apologising for missteps with the roll-out of their much maligned  Beacon advertising system.”We’ve made a lot of mistakes building this feature, but we’ve madeeven more with how we’ve handled them. We simply did a bad job withthis release, and I apologize for it,” he wrote.

Zuckerberg goeson to apologise specifically for “taking too long” to make the systemopt-in rather than opt-out (where the site assumed no answer to theBeacon prompt was a ‘yes’ and went ahead and shared information). Lastweek Facebook made Beacon opt-in site-by-site, and they’ve added a privacy control that allows users to shut off the program completely.

One thing that can be said for sure about Facebook: even though they don’t always get it right the first time,they listen to their users and iterate continuously until they hitsomething people are happy with. When they first released the newsfeedand mini-feed last year, users were outraged that their information wasbeing shared without their control to friends. Since then, Facebook hasincluded increasingly more fine grained privacy controls that allowusers to control what info gets published. The result? The newsfeed isoften credited as one of the most appealing and important features ofthe network.

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