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Unformatted text preview: s Christmas f o r Everyo ne!” screamed o ne headline f ro m MSNBC.co m. Ano ther
f ro m U.S. New s and Wo rld Repo rt read “Ho w Facebo o k Sto le Christmas.” The Washingto n P o st
ran the sto ry o f Sean Lane, a twenty-eight-year-o ld tech suppo rt wo rker f ro m Waltham,
Massachusetts, who go t a message f ro m his wif e just two ho urs af ter he bo ught a ring o n
Oversto ck.co m. “Who is this ring f o r?” she wanted to kno w. Facebo o k had no t o nly po sted a f eed
that her husband had bo ught the ring, but also that he go t it f o r a 51 percent disco unt! Oversto ck
quickly anno unced that it was halting participatio n in Beaco n until Facebo o k changed its practice to
o pt in.E. Nakashima, “Feeling Betrayed, Facebo o k Users Fo rce Site to Ho no r Their P rivacy,”
Washingto n P o st, No vember 30, 2007. Mo veOn.o rg started a Facebo o k gro up and o nline petitio n pro testing Beaco n. The Center f o r
Digital Demo cracy and the U.S. P ublic Interest Research Gro up asked the Federal Trade
Co mmissio n to investigate Facebo o k’s advertising pro grams. And a Dallas wo man sued Blo ckbuster
f o r vio lating the Video P rivacy P ro tectio n Act (a 1998 U.S. law pro hibiting unautho rized access to
video sto re rental reco rds). To Facebo o k’s credit, the f irm acted swif tly. Beaco n was switched to an o pt-in system, where user
co nsent must be given bef o re partner data is sent to the f eed. Zuckerberg wo uld later say regarding
Beaco n: “We’ve made a lo t o f mistakes building this f eature, but we’ve made even mo re with ho w
we’ve handled them. We simply did a bad jo b with this release, and I apo lo gize f o r it.”C. McCarthy,
“Facebo o k’s Zuckerberg: ‘We Simply Did a Bad Jo b’ Handling Beaco n,” CNET, December 5, 2007.
Beaco n was eventually shut do wn and $ 9.5 millio n was do nated to vario us privacy gro ups as part o f
its legal settlement.J. Bro dkin, “Facebo o k Shuts Do wn Beaco n P ro gram, Do nates $ 9.5 Millio n to Settle Lawsuit...
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- Winter '14