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Facebook Faces Privacy Concern Issues

Last year at f8, Facebook revealed its Open Graph and social plugins. Shortly thereafter, privacy concerns became a major point of discussion throughout the media and around the water coolers. We all watched CEO Mark Zuckerberg sweat through interrogations over this, but ultimately the company made numerous changes until the discussion finally fizzled out a bit.

The discussion never went completely away, but privacy no longer dominated the conversation about Facebook after a while. Last week, Facebook finally held this year’s f8 event, and of course made more huge announcements, including the new Timeline feature (which still hasn’t been rolled out to everybody) and the new Open Graph, which makes apps a lot more information sharing-friendly.

Naturally, more information shared, means more privacy concerns.

The Poynter Institute says Facebook and news organizations are pushing the boundaries of online privacy and that “Facebook again my have gone too far in its quest to make privacy obsolete and that this time some news organizations could get burned by going along with it.”

Poynter Digital Media Fellow Jeff Sonderman calls out new Facebook apps like the Washington Post’s Social Reader, and similar offerings from The Guardian and The Daily, as well as Yahoo News, which is having readers sign up to have their reading activity streamed to their Facebook profile.

This isn’t the first we’ve heard of such concerns since f8. Mashable founder Pete Cashmore talked about this in another article saying that he saw on Facebook that someone he knows professionally was reading articles with titles like: “Heather Morris on Breast Implants,” and “Perrey Reeves Shows Off Bikini Body.”

Big deal? Career ender? Probably not in this case, but it gives some people an icky feeling to think about everyone they’re friends with on Facebook being able to see every page they look at. And you can bet that more and more sites will rush to get on board with this new Open Graph, just as they did after last year’s f8.

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