MySpace and Facebook users don’t care about their Privacy.

Here’s a revelation to all of the folks that are fired up over the latest FaceBook fracas. This is also an FYI to all of those so-called critics of what MySpace and Facebook might be doing with a users information..

Guess what? The average user doesn’t care what an advertiser or social media marketer does with their data. Wanna know why? Because they’re in college or younger. They could care less about the implications of plastering their most intimate details all over the pages of Myspace and Facebook.

The only people that care are the Gen X,  Gen Y and  Boomers who are strolling or trolling, depending on your views of what a social network are.. into these 2 monolithic sites to kick the tires. They look around, think it’s kinda cool and decide to hang out awhile and see if they can “connect” with some peeps.

But wait! “Uh-oh, what do you mean you’re going to use my personal data?” For what? You mean you are going to share it? With who? Advertisers? OMG!!!!!

A voice behind a curtain: “Uhhhh well you’re sharing it with others…! ”

“Well yea that’s uhhhh different”.

The voice: It is? How is it? Tell me. You put it up there. All of it. And then some.

All of a sudden they want to take back what they said. Except that they knew going in what they were doing.  They want their cake and they want to eat it too.

If you are in college, or younger. Do you really care what is happening to your data? Probably not. All you really care about is who you can hook up with( not all of you) But, the only way to do that is to supply more personal details. So why wouldn’t Facebook and MySpace and it’s partners not want to take advantage of this? And one more thing, has anyone ever asked a typical user how much of the info that he or she puts into these social networks is actually valid???

So before we, and I’m still trying to determine just what the demographic of “we” is, decide to grab torches and pitchforks, lets consider what the contract is between user and site owner of Facebook and MySpace. And not only those 2, but all  social sites in general.  If you’re willing to share the most amazingly intimate details to utter strangers, then what’s the difference, or why should you care if Kraft foods wants to know when you eat Mac and cheese?

Facebook does a Faceplant

Facebook announced in a statement posted on its website that it had made some changes to its Beacon online ad-system. The changes came after more than 50,000 users signed a petition, complaining that Beacon was too intrusive and too confusing to opt out of.

“According to PC World, a Computer Associates researcher claims that Beacon, when installed on participating sites, is sending data about users’ activity back to Facebook, even when a user is logged out of Facebook – despite Facebook’s claims to the contrary.”

   Beacon is an advertising platform that tracks Facebook’s member transactions on third-party partner sites and transforms them into product/service endorsements. Beacon is a major part of the Facebook Ads platform that Facebook introduced with much fanfare several weeks ago. Beacon tracks certain activities of Facebook users on more than 40 participating Web sites, including those of Blockbuster and Fandango, and reports those activities to the users’ set of Facebook friends, unless told not to do so.

Since then, Users’ data on their activities at those participant websites has been flowing back to Facebook automatically without the option to block that information from being transmitted.  Nice.

 Users are able to opt out but only on case-by-case basis, which means that they must opt-out for each of the more than 44 participant websites. That’s right, 44.  As a consequence, Facebook users  are going ballistic.  Facebook had to adjust Beacon to make it work more implicit and user friendly; and to make it easier to nix a broadcast message and opt out of having activities tracked on specific Web sites.

“Users must click on ‘OK’ in a new initial notification on their Facebook home page before the first Beacon story is published to their friends from each participating site,” the statement reads.”

 Also, Facebook’s Beacon now offers to the users clear options in ongoing notifications to either delete or publish. If they delay in making this decision, the notification will hide and they can make a decision at a later time.

But Facebook didn’t go all the way to providing a general opt-out option for the entire Beacon program, as some had hoped. Expect the fallout to continue as Facebook scrambles to figure out how to play with the big boys before being black balled. If they don’t do some major damage repair and assure users that they are not abusing their data, folks will be leaving quicker than kids at a party that the cops show up at.