Facebook Fights Anti-Privacy Charges

Battle with MoveOn hinges on the meaning of 'private'
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 21, 2007 11:45 AM CST
Facebook CEO and founder Mark Zuckerberg speaks to press and advertising partners at a Facebook announcement in New York, Monday, November 6, 2007. The online hangout said Tuesday it plans to let companies...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Facebook jumped to the defense of its new social advertising program yesterday, under attack by a MoveOn campaign. MoveOn calls the program a “massive privacy breach,” but Facebook says that misrepresents Beacon, which does not make information "public." "Information is shared with a small selection of a user's trusted network of friends, not publicly on the Web or with all Facebook users,"  the company said.

MoveOn was unimpressed. "If Facebook's argument is that sharing private information with hundreds or thousands of someone's closest 'friends' is not the same as making that information 'public,' that shows how weak Facebook's argument is," a spokesman said. The Beacon application publishes stories to users’ newsfeed when they buy a product on an external site, potentially revealing whole Christmas lists, CNET explains.