What is Facebook Beacon?

Many of us know what Facebook is. It is a great social networking site that allows us to keep in touch with friends and family who we might not usually get the chance to speak with. Facebook provides a great service by connecting people and helping us meet new people. People can share information about events or important personal information. There is a reason why so many people use Facebook—it’s because it works well to connect people. The other day my wife and I started talking about me creating a Facebook page. I have resisted making one because I thought it would take up too much of my time. This is a common problem with Facebook—you really have to be careful. However, I made a Facebook page and I tell you, it has been wonderful. I have already had several people invite themselves to be my friends. I can see that I will be able to keep in close contact with the many people that I have not spoken with in years. But then I researched a few more things about Facebook and found out about Facebook Beacon. I have to admit that I was a little disappointed. You should probably find out a little about this issue if you are going to keep using Facebook. Although it might not affect your use of Facebook, you should definitely know about it.

Facebook Beacon was made in 2007. It is part of the site’s advertising division. What Facebook Beacon does is record the purchases you make at certain websites. This is probably done for product placement purposes. It also is used to show your Facebook friends what you have been buying. This is done quite easily by companies. All they need to do is add a little code to their websites and there is a record made every time you buy something. Fortunately, after many people complained, Facebook made it so that the company needs the user’s permission to publish their purchase information.

This could be a good thing for a business. You can, with customer permission, let other people know about what someone is buying. This could interest their friends in the products you sell. However, you should know that many people have been unhappy with Facebook Beacon. If these people identify your business with Beacon they might not want to do business with you anymore. Maybe the permission service will change this, but you should know that Beacon has made a big stink.

However, if you don’t like having your purchasing information published, you will not want to agree to this. Your purchases are your own business, and you should have control over whether or not it is published. You wouldn’t want someone to go through your garbage and find out what kind of food you are eating in order to sell it to you later, would you? Most of us would find this type of behavior a little strange. Now that Facebook Beacon has a permission option, the publishing of purchase information is not so strange, but it might still disturb you.

One important thing to remember is that these network services are businesses. They need to make some sort of profit like any other business. This does not mean, however, that personal information should be given away. Many people were upset when they heard about Facebook Beacon. If you are also upset about it make sure not to allow Facebook to publish your purchasing information. Become aware of the uses of your private information and don’t allow someone to use it irresponsibly.

Cite This Page

Feldman, Barbara. "What is Facebook Beacon?." Surfnetkids. Feldman Publishing. 1 Dec. 2008. Web. 4 Sep. 2015. <http://www.surfnetkids.com/tech/1418/what-is-facebook-beacon/ >.

About This Page

By . Originally published December 1, 2008. Last modified December 1, 2008.

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