Amy Tiemann of CNET wrote: “The bad news about Facebook’s Beacon program, user tracking, and privacy concerns just keeps piling up. Now Facebook is under fire from consumers, journalists, activist and advocacy groups, and even its own advertising partners.“
Today’s biggest revelation, reported by PC World, is that “Facebook has confirmed findings of a CA security researcher [Stefan Berteau] that the social-networking site’s Beacon ad service is more intrusive and stealthy than previously acknowledged, an admission that contradicts statements made previously by Facebook executives and representatives,” including email correspondence between Berteau and Facebook’s privacy department, as well as statements made by Facebook vice president Chamath Palihapitiya to The New York Times. “
“Facebook confirmed Stefan Berteau’s specific allegation that Beacon tracks the off-Facebook activities of members even when they are logged out of the social-networking site.”
“The big question for users is whether there is anything Facebook can do to regain their trust. One of my frustrations with this story has been to see many media reports with headlines like “Facebook in privacy U-turn over Beacon” when the company had still refused to allow users to easily and permanently opt-out of Beacon.”
Since this announcement Facebook has apologized and promises to change the rules of Beacon.
Meanwhile a new application has appeared on the landscape from Business 3.0. The application, called b3buy, promises to be your shopping center on Facebook. You can now search for products on the internet without leaving Facebook and products and services that match your profile preferences.
b3buy uses your hobbies, interests and profile information to define what products and services you might be interested in. You can also get gift ideas for your friends based on their interests driven by their profile attributes. Michael Zeuthen, CEO of Business 3.0 says “Since we don’t broadcast or publish your searches or purchases, you can browse and buy with confidence that no one other than you will know.
At the same time we wanted to make it easy for friends and business associates to be able to identify a perfect gift match for users thus enabling individuals and businesses alike to express appreciate by sending a gift that individuals would like appreciate. The application is akin to a virtual assistant that shops for you because it understands what you like and don’t like.”
Business 3.0 has also incorporated a proprietary e-commerce engine within their application thus enabling users to make simple purchases without leaving their profile and do so at much less cost than say PayPal. Business 3.0 Partnered with a Fortune 500 company who has recently developed a proprietary mobile and e-commerce transaction engines that is secure and a significantly less cost than PayPal.
Michael Zeuthen, CEO of Business 3.0 says “Our b3buy application combined with the new transactional engine creates a first of its kind combination that will fuel social commerce across any and all social networks. We choose Facebook as out first launch given we have close to 1,000 Businesses using Business 3.0 to profile their business and people within Facebook. We’ll be extending our social commerce solution to users of Business 3.0 and our platform partners such as Facebook. We recently launched on Bebo and have become an approved developer for Google’s OpenSocial thus enabling our application to be used on any affiliate network.”
Sounds like one of Facebook’s application developers has created something unique and obviously better than Beacon. Actually, the b3buy is a unique application with lots of long tail utility that users are likely to enjoy and use frequently. To see the Business 3.0 and b3buy application on Facebook go here.
What say you?