Recently, being a geek about Newsletter templates and HTML, I found myself voluntarily clicking on a link to vote for the best of a user-generated collection of email templates at Vertical Response. Excitement to participate soon disolved to other-worldly rage when I realized that the only way to vote was to click the Facebook “Like” button for the template I thought was the best. Puke.
I’ll admit it, I’m not the biggest fan of Facebook. While it’s turned out to be a hugely successful social network for individuals, I still think of it as an evil corporation collecting my demographic data to sell to advertisers with no regard for my privacy. So I get triggered when I’m required to use Facebook functionality for a site that isn’t Facebook. I basically see it as telling me to “Promote our product by allowing us to post on your wall the different things you’re doing on our site!” along with “Your action will be tracked, logged and shared with other interested parties (e.g. advertisers, governments, martians, etc.)”
Required Facebook Functionality is Spreading
When Quora first started up, it required a Facebook account to log in. Now, Jumo, the new nonprofit social network, is the same way. I don’t know about you, but I am very hesitant to connect my Facebook account to other sites that I encounter online. That connection is another pathway to get at my personal information. While sites may be after the people I’m friends with seeing their product on my wall, they also get access to my personal information. The more sites that connect to Facebook, the more information about your personal habits are accessible from different places. Not cool with me.
Lastly, by choosing Facebook specifically and only rather than giving you the choice to log in with a different account (e.g. Twitter or email), these sites are not only in control of where your personal data goes but also giving it to an organization that doesn’t allow you to have more than one personal presence on its network (See Statement of Rights Section 4). You have to be you and only one you otherwise they’ll shut the other “you”s down. All info is aggregated to that one account. Talk about no where to hide.
Plus, maybe I don’t want my friends to know I voted for the cute bunny email template on VR.
What do you think? Legit concern or behind the times?