Facebook relies on tracking cookie technologies similar to the controversial systems used by Google, Adobe, Microsoft, Yahoo and others in the online advertising industry.
Facebook has admitted it is tracking which sites its users visit even after they log off, thanks to plug-ins and cookies.
Facebook, which has more than 800 million active users, also keeps close track of where millions of non-members of the social networking site go on the web, even after they visit a webpage for any reason only once, USA Today reported.
To do this, it relies on tracking cookie technologies similar to the controversial systems used by Google, Adobe, Microsoft, Yahoo and others in the online advertising industry, Arturo Bejar, Facebook’s engineering director , was quoted as saying.
Here’s how it works: Every time one logs onto Facebook it inserts a ” session cookie” and a “browser cookie” into one’s browser. If one visits the site without signing up on the browser, cookie is inserted. From that point on, each time you visit a site which uses Facebook technology, the cookie alerts Facebook to the date, time and URL of the page you are viewing . The unique characteristics like one’s IP address, screen resolution, operating system and browser version, are also recorded by the social networking site, it said.
Facebook spokesman Andrew Noyes said tracking systems are used to personalise content and help boost security. However, industry critics expressed concern. “Tracking data can be used to figure out your political bent, religious beliefs, sexuality preferences ,” Peter Eckersley of Electronic Frontier Foundation said.
Via Times of India