A Few Advertisers Distance Themselves From Beacon. Why?

Facebook has taken steps to ease privacy concerns about its Beacon consumer data sharing initiative, but many of the social net’s own partners are wary of the program.

Overstock.com was among the first of Facebook’s early partners to back out, but as the Times’ Bits blog reports, Coke has also begged off for the moment. My guess is both companies will return to Beacon after assessing the new changes, which require users to explicitly approve the broadcast of off-Facebook behavioral and purchase data to their social networks.

If you happen to be a Facebook partner, whether you’re skittish about Beacon will depend a lot on your product or service. Overstock.com probably blinked because of the holiday-heartbreaker come-on in MoveOn’s pitch (“Matt in New York already knows what his girlfriend got him for Christmas…”) Also, analyst Charlene Li singled out the company in her blogged complaint about the program.

However I also spoke with a Fandango rep Friday who said the company remains enthusiastic about the Beacon program. After all, he noted, Fandango doesn’t sell tickets to skin flicks, and who’s secretive about their movie-going habits?

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