Like just about everyone who has been hit by it, I'm not very happy about the Facebook Beacon. It was bad enough Facebook felt that I wanted everyone to know whenever I was wasting time playing flash games on Kongregate. That just irritated me. Now Facebook is actually ruining Christmas for people by announcing to all their friends the Christmas presents they just purchased. As the uproar unfolds, I kept thinking "is this legal?"
Facebook follows two core principles:
1. You should have control over your personal information.
Facebook helps you share information with your friends and people around you. You choose what information you put in your profile, including contact and personal information, pictures, interests and groups you join. And you control the users with whom you share that information through the privacy settings on the My Privacy page.
2. You should have access to the information others want to share.
There is an increasing amount of information available out there, and you may want to know what relates to you, your friends, and people around you. We want to help you easily get that information.
Facebook has not followed these principles with the Facebook Beacon. I have lost control of my personal information. I have no idea if it would hold up in court, but I hope someone more savvy and with more free time sues them. If you use Facebook, and they violate the principle of the Privacy agreement they provide, it seems like at least some grounds for a case to me.
Myself, I'm following these steps to block the Facebook Beacon, and aggressively deleting my Facebook cookies whenever I can.