Facebook said it has changed the default settings so that users must specifically request that their details can be published by the Beacon system, which was made live on the its website last week.
The Beacon system saved personal surf activity on Facebook users for online retailers and published the details on a person’s Facebook friends to see. This sparked an outcry after users who never opted for the feature had their results published in their profiles. One user said that he found out what his girlfriend had bought him for Christmas after reviewing her shopping details from her profile.
Facebook will now seek explicit permission before publishing details of activity on third party sites, and will keep the service deactivated by default. Users who wish to participate in the Beacon system will now have to manually opt for the service.
MoveOn.org started an online petition and received 50,000 signatures in support of its stance against Beacon called ” Facebook, stop invading my privacy”.
Social networking users are being warned about the dangers of publishing large amounts of personal information on websites. Security experts have warned that profiles could yield valuable information to identity thieves.