Following the controversy surrounding Facebook’s instant personalization program, Pandora made a subtle change yesterday which drives users to opt-out of the program and make their profile information private. The new privacy settings also let Facebook users decide “whether or not [they'd] like to import [their] information from Facebook to Pandora”. The main change here is that Pandora is proactively notifying users about their privacy settings.
While not huge, this is something that I previously suggested Facebook should implement, rather than leaving it up to participating Instant Personalization partners. Fortunately for Facebook, Pandora has decided to take the high road and let users know about their privacy settings. While it isn’t a one-click solution to opting out of the Facebook Instant Personalization program, it’s definitely a step in the right direction, bringing an added level of transparency to the overall experience.
This step also helps Pandora build trust with their user base. While Facebook has chosen to continue making the service opt-out, it’s pretty obvious that Pandora sees the value in being transparent with their user base. I’ve been a vocal advocate against Facebook’s Instant Personalization, however it has mostly appeared as a lost cause. Fortunately Facebook’s partners don’t feel the same way. You can learn more about Pandora’s subtle change on yesterday’s blog post by Tim Westergren.
The Center for Democracy & Technology has posted a more detailed post about how they worked with Pandora on making this change.