Have you been surfing the web recently and been surprised to find your Facebook icon displayed on a web page, and a button urging you to ‘Become the fan’?
Or perhaps you’ve visited a web page, even if it’s your first time there, you see something telling you which of your Facebook friends have also been there, and now the page is making a recommendation about what content you may like.
Welcome to Facebook’s controversial ‘Instant Personalisation’ programme, a plan to share your information with certain elements of the World Wide Web to make your browsing experience more ‘personalised’. To achieve this, Facebook is working with companies such as Rottentomatoes.com and CNN.com, among others, to share user information and integrate your social networking experience with your web-browsing experience.
Many users are not fans.
If you’ve been shocked by your Facebook info mysteriously appearing when you’re browsing other websites, you’re not alone, but nevertheless, don’t panic.
Although it looks like these websites know who you are, they really don’t. The space where you see your avatar staring back at you has been populated by Facebook, not the site you’re visiting.
Nevertheless, the experience is highly unsettling for the average user with an interest in maintaining privacy; not to mention, for some, an unwanted and unacceptable extension of Facebook’s reach.
So if you’d rather not get involved with Facebook’s attempts to ‘personalise’ your web browsing, here’s the easy way to get of Facebook out of your web-surfing business.