Finally, Facebook seems to have gotten it and they have decided to do away with their privacy busting, on-line tracking program called Beacon. Did I mention it took $9.5 million and a class action lawsuit to convince them.

Facebook is closing an uncomfortable chapter in its five-year history.

The social network says it will shut down Beacon, a program that tracks users’ activities on other Web sites. When it launched in 2007, Beacon was immediately attacked by users as a privacy violation.

It tracked purchases Facebook users made on other sites and sent alerts about them to their Facebook friends. Facebook later let users turn Beacon off, and CEO Mark Zuckerberg publicly apologized for it.

Beacon never really caught on, and Facebook agreed to end it as part of a class-action lawsuit settlement.

The Palo Alto, California-based Facebook company will also pay $9.5 million to create a foundation to promote online privacy, safety and security.

The proposed settlement must still be approved by a judge

Let’s face it, privacy on networking sites is difficult and I quess a user can expect less privacy to a degree but when the service provider embeds a program that tracks a user’s activities on ALL of their web based traffic. Saying only the program is meant to “personalize your experience” you have crossed a line into what I refer to as “you can kiss my arse goodbye territory”. Yahoo does the same type of thing but they let you know they use them and their web-beacons can be shut off, with Facebook you didn’t have that option until very recently.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out their doing this in order to sell the data they have collected and that’s fine but be straight up about it.