A reader was so kind to point out that Facebook is just about to introduce a feature called “Sponsored Stories“.
This service allows advertisers to add visibility to certain pieces of user-generated information. As a result the fact that person “A” checked into a certain restaurant together with person “B” will not only be displayed in “A”‘s (and his friends’) news feed but will also be shown in a separate “Sponsored Story” section (click on the thumbnail at the beginning of this post to see an example).
This new feature didn’t really catch my attention from a legal point of view (the allowance for using the content will for sure be hidden somewhere in FB’s terms&conditions and there might even be a way to disable this function if you have enough time and patience to search for it for quite some time) but more from the point of being an active FB-user myself. It should maybe once more remind users (including myself) that what they do on Facebook is for sure not as private as one might think.
But maybe the introduction of this service is a good thing as this might bring back to peoples’ attention that “There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch” and that the downside of using free social platforms, free Email-accounts and free search engines that these services will need to gain money through other means… selling (what we used to think of being) our privacy.