Late last year, Facebook launched a new system called Facebook Connect. Haven’t heard of it? Facebook probably thinks that is a good thing.
Facebook Connect is a system that allows third-party sites to access your Facebook information and post your web behavior to your Facebook account. Sound more familiar? Facebook’s first attempt to integrate with third-party sites via their “Beacon” system was received with such hostility that it eventually was disabled after Facebook was overwhelmed with privacy complaints. The most memorable case was probably that of a young man who purchased an engagement ring on Overstock.com, only to later find his purchase broadcasted to his friends via his Facebook newsfeed — including his girlfriend. Facebook Connect, however, promises to be different, if for no other reasons than someone thought it might be a good idea to ask users for permission to access their data and post on their newsfeeds. Still, there is a lot of buzz in the blog-o-sphere, comparing Connect to Beacon and weighing the probability of a reprise.
Yeah, yeah… so Facebook is awful at privacy. Am I a horrible person if I think we should cut Facebook a break?