I was alerted this morning by Facebook friends that there is a new setting automatically enabled, that you may well not want enabled. I have some screen shots here of how to go and disable it or at least learn what the setting means so you can decide for yourself whether you want to play in these advertiser games or not.
1. Go to your “Account” and click “Privacy Settings”
2. Click the “Apps & Websites” Link
3. Click on “Edit Settings” next to “Instant Personalization”
4. Read the information & decide to leave the setting enabled or disable it
Now, why is this a big deal? For one thing, Facebook needs to stop setting up opt-in settings for users en masse, without giving them a giant alert notice when they hit the site, so they can make the decision right then and there. Despite hundreds of thousands of complaints, articles written and grievances filed, the company continues to prove non-trustworthy when it comes to what and how they are USING their users. And they are using you – make no mistake – to get more partner and advertiser dollars and to inflate the value of their company.
For another, neither the partner sites NOR Facebook can ever really know you well enough to make valuable personal selling recommendations based on your purchases or interactions with friends. I wrote about this sometime back in Are Recommendations Engines Circumventing User-Focused Design? if you’d like to look at this from my perspective as a usability specialist and customer advocate. (Pardon the missing images – this post is from an old blog site and I have to locate the missing images. Argh.)
At any rate, non-opt-in is BAD, and taking the responsible measure of informing people of changes made on their behalf is GOOD. Facebook notoriously errs toward the bad side in this regard, so user beware!