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Facebook Instant Personalization

Facebook is at it again. This week they’ve announced some pretty major changes in the way your personal information is used. One of these changes is how your Facebook profile will be integrated with other websites – currently Microsoft Docs, Pandora, and Yelp. They call it “instant personalization” and you may or may not like it.

The way instant personalization works is that when you are logged in to Facebook and then go to Yelp, for example, you will see what your friends are up to on Yelp. And, of course if you have an account your friends will be able to see what you’ve been up to as well.

In addition to you and your friends seeing what you’re all doing, instant personalization allows the partner websites (Microsoft Docs, Pandora, Yelp) to access any information on your profile that you’ve set as viewable to everyone. This includes your name, profile picture, gender, where you live, friends list, and pages.

By default, Facebook has instant personalization set to be on but if you’re concerned about having your information carried over to other websites there is a way to opt out of it. There are a few steps involved in opting out though – it’s not as easy as just checking a box. You can uncheck the “allow” box in your privacy settings, but doing that doesn’t stop your friends from sharing your information. (You didn’t really think Facebook would let you out of it that easily did you?)

The folks at Electronic Frontier Foundation have put together a good step by step video on how to opt out. The thing to remember is that you’ll have to opt out of each website individually. And because Facebook intends to partner with more websites you’ll need to go through the process in the future if you want to opt out of each one.

Here are the links to the applications so you can block them:

Microsoft Docs
Pandora

Yelp

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2 Responses to Facebook Instant Personalization

  1. Sue Rostvold April 23, 2010 at 7:18 pm #

    Great information Therese. It’s definitely something to be aware of. I’m not that worried about my Facebook personal info, because I don’t put anything out there that I want to keep private, but I’ll probably opt out anyway. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Giga May 17, 2010 at 12:24 pm #

    Great information Therese. It’s definitely something to be aware of. I’m not that worried about my Facebook personal info, because I don’t put anything out there that I want to keep private, but I’ll probably opt out anyway. Thanks for sharing.
    +1

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