Chris Kelly describes and defends the user-tracking Beacon function, handling sexual predators online, and balancing privacy and community. The launch of Facebook‘s Beacon advertising system in November put the social networking and site in the middle of a controversy over privacy, as Beacon was criticized for being too aggressive and stealthy in collecting and broadcasting information about users’ activities online. For that reason, few people right now would probably envy the job of Chris Kelly, Facebook’s chief privacy officer and the person most responsible for explaining the site’s policies to the public.

http://www.pcworld.com/article/id,142324-c,sites/article.html

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Mark Zuckerberg & Co. stood up in front of the advertising community in New York today and unveiled Facebook Ads, an ad system that allows companies to use the Facebook social graph and to develop highly targeted ads. Large brands such as Coca-Cola (KO), Sony Pictures (SNE) and Verizon (VZ) have signed on for this effort. Part of the engine powering this new ad system is called Beacon, which takes data from 44 web destinations and mashes it up with Facebook’s internal information to help build more focused advertising messages.

While it seems to be a clever idea, a quick review reveals that Beacon might turn out to be a privacy hairball for the company.

http://gigaom.com/2007/11/06/facebook-beacon-privacy-issues/