UPDATED: to make it more clear who is saying what!
0. My trip reservations (I got a great hotel deal) sent to Facebook, and noted on Flickr by Matt Hampel, with some surprise, in a post "Ed What?"
I sincerely hope that Facebook sees some righteous response about this weird privacy advertising-without-paying-us business.
1. Complaint to Hotwire, written by me.
I spoke with Tracy (employee number 1258) regarding a concern that I had that Hotwire was misusing certain data that I had an expectation of privacy on by sharing it with Facebook which in turn sent a note to 300 of my friends, one of whom asked if I was spamming them and if it was really me. I'm generally happy with Hotwire, and it's saved me a bunch of money, and I tell my friends that I use it, but the details of the interaction with Facebook and your customer service professional's insistence that I take up the problem with Facebook (with whom I have never spent any money) is disappointing. I would like an apology from Hotwire for spamming my friends, a setting in the Hotwire application to prevent it from ever happening again, and two free night's stay to compensate me for the hassle that you have put me through so far in explaining that no, I didn't spam all of them with details of where I buy my tickets.
2. From Hotwire customer service:
Thank you for contacting Hotwire regarding Facebook.
I regret the trouble you have had with Facebook.
Facebook Beacon provides advanced privacy controls so Facebook users can decide whether to distribute specific actions from participating sites with their friends. If you decide to use Facebook Beacon it means you have chosen to share your personal online usage information.
If you are logged onto your Facebook and complete a transaction on Hotwire, a pop-up window appears on the lower right corner. The pop-up presents a story about your booking.
If you do nothing or close the pop-up window, the story appears on your friends News Feed and their own Facebook homepage Mini-Feed. If you click "No Thanks" the story is not published.
Your friend sees the story and clicks on the link. For Hotwire they are taken to the vertical landing page.
Important: They do not see any information about what was purchased or personal billing information about you, the Facebook Beacon user.
http://www.facebook.com/policy.php. You can also go to
I apologize for the inconvenience and frustration this has caused.
If we can be of further assistance, please feel free to reply to this
email or contact us directly at 1-866-HOTWIRE (468-9473). Thank you for
Hotwire Customer Care
3. From Facebook customer service
Just as News Feed has always enabled you to share the actions you take on Facebook with your friends, now you can share many of the actions you take on rest of the web as well.
Facebook is now affiliated with a variety of websites to have the actions you take on their sites pulled back into Facebook and communicated to your friends through News Feed. To take advantage of this feature, you must be logged into Facebook while you interact with one of these affiliated sites. When you perform an action on an affiliated site, you have the option to have this action generate a story in your friends’ News Feed. You will always be notified and given the opportunity to opt out of having that particular story published.
As a Facebook user, you have complete control to determine your privacy settings for the actions you take on other websites. The next time you navigate to the Facebook Home page after interacting with an affiliated site, you’ll receive a second reminder that that website is about to publish a story on your behalf. Again, you can choose not to publish that particular story. You also have the option to specify whether you want that website to always publish stories, notify you before publishing stories, or never publish stories for you. As always, Facebook gives you full control of your information. You can edit your privacy at any time from the Privacy Settings for Third-Party Websites page.
Please let us know if you have any further questions or concerns regarding this new feature.
Thanks for contacting Facebook,
Customer Support Representative
Links on this topic (oh, there are a lot; just picking some contemporary ones):
Recently I’ve read a number of negative posts about the Facebook Beacon which highlight how easy it is for a company to completely misjudge the privacy implications and ramifications of certain features in social software applications.
Shortly thereafter, the back-and-forth spat continued as MoveOn's Adam Green issued a response to the response. "Facebook has made zero changes in Beacon since last week--their policy remains opt-out instead of opt-in, their opt-outs remain well hidden, and if someone does jump through the hoops of opting out it only applies to purchases made on one external web site instead of all sites," Green's statement read. "Why did Facebook pro-actively make it harder for Facebook users to protect their privacy by eliminating the global opt-out feature days before Beacon's launch?"
Below is the full list and, when available, what information the websites send to Facebook. The one entry I found the most interesting was the one for Redlight. As I mention below, I couldn't find any site that went by that name that wasn't an adult site. Maybe the same people who share their porn viewing are the ones who are interested in Random Play?