Facebook privacy issue may be a usability issue?

I am not on the Facebook wagon but I found the controversy over Facebook’s Beacon interesting. Users were inadvertently displaying their online purchases to their friends on Facebook. Facebook claims that users could opt-out of showing this information but many users said it was not obvious. Here are some before and after screenshots [from the NYT blog entry]:

BEFORE [note the very faint X on the right]:


AFTER [note the word remove after the X]:



2 thoughts on “Facebook privacy issue may be a usability issue?”

  1. Indeed. Another question is WHEN do you “opt out?” I have noticed in most cases, you post it, then delete it.

    I don’t know if it is possible for someone to view it in the short time between if that is when she or he loads the page.

  2. From the “what’s good for the goose…” department:

    “Facebook tried last week to force the magazine 02138 to remove some unflattering documents about Mr. Zuckerberg from its Web site. But a federal judge turned down the company’s request for a court order to take down the material, according to the magazine’s lawyers.”

    http://tinyurl.com/2kkfgc (nyt article)
    http://www.02138mag.com/magazine/article/1724.html (original story on the founder of Facebook)

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