So, I, for one, am completely disgusted by this. You’ll remember the Wall Street Journal from such hits as the What They Know series about violations of online privacy, which the paper put up for numerous journalism awards; it won a Loeb award for that coverage, actually, as well as recognition from the Future of Privacy Forum, which: ha!
It takes real nerve for a newspaper to launch an investigation of that caliber and then stand back and then decide to adopt the very techniques it criticized. It raises the question: Was it just a cynical grab for awards, or a real sense of mission behind that What They Know series? It’s not surprising that this has popped up just after the WSJ created WSJSocial, which connects the newspaper with recidivist Internet bully Facebook.
Yes, you can (and should) opt out. But it’s still like some stranger breaking into your house and standing there saying, “oh, you live here? I’ll need to see some ID.” It’s another personal-information land grab, another company deciding it knows what’s best for you and taking choice out of our hands. And it’s very much out of character for the WSJ, which until now has been respectful of its users.
Update from Alan Murray, WSJ digital honcho, via Twitter:
@Andrew303: A bit overwrought. We are not sharing your data with anyone. Our commitment to privacy is evident in how we did Facebook app.