Facebook did apologize for the new Beacon feature. This is the feature that shared info from partner sites with Facebook and made it available for public viewing.
“We’re sorry if we spoiled some of your holiday gift-giving plans,” read the letter. “We are really trying to provide you with new meaningful ways, like Beacon, to help you connect and share information with your friends.”
I sent them an email in conjunction with the petition I signed and they did respond.
Thank you for listening to customers and treading a bit more lightly
and forthright in the privacy/personalization realm.
and the response:
We’re glad we were able to improve Beacon so that our users have more control over the information they want to share. We appreciate your feedback.
Thanks for contacting Facebook,
(Customer Service Rep Name Here)
Customer Support Representative
So, for now, the site users have been heard. Thank you to Facebook for an appropriate and timely response. This is a great example of the shift in the power to the people.If you’d like to learn more, read this BBC article about the updates to the feature.