Facebook's Open Graph Ratchets Up Privacy Concerns

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Facebook has revealed new tools on the website that allow users to connect to other websites like Fandango. They can also personalize their surfing experience based on their Facebook profiles. Some people worry that others may not realize the ramifications of giving away so much personal information.


Facebook is looking to expand. It hopes to extend its reach beyond its own hugely popular site and on to the rest of the Web. The company is announcing a new set of features that link activities outside Facebook back to your profile.

From member station KQED in San Francisco, Peter Jon Shuler reports.

PETER JON SHULER: CEO Mark Zuckerberg told a conference of app developers, this latest iteration of Facebook is called Open Graph.

MARK ZUCKERBERG: We think what we have to show you today will be the most transformative thing we've ever done for the Web.

JON SHULER: Say you review a new restaurant on Yelp, now with Open Graph, that review can also show up on your Facebook page. The same goes for movies or your favorite singer, and that means they'll be better able to target you with ads for products you might like.

ZUCKERBERG: If you write a review saying that something's positive, we can put that restaurant in your profile under a section of your favorite restaurants, alongside all of the other restaurants that you've ever liked on any website anywhere.

DAVID KIRKPATRICK: They're doing so much to make more data about us available on the Internet that, you know, there is absolutely no getting around the privacy concerns.

JON SHULER: David Kirkpatrick is a senior editor with Fortune and author of "The Facebook Effect." He worries many people may not understand the ramifications of giving away so much personal information.

Modifications to Facebook have always met with some sort of backlash from users, but company executives are vigorously defending this new technology. They say users will have as much control over the information they make available on partner websites as they currently have on Facebook.

For NPR News, I'm Peter Jon Shuler in San Francisco.

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