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Facebook Is Tracking You Online, Even If You Don't Have an Account

17 April, 2018, 18:40 | Author: Lydia Fleming
  • Facebook data breach Cambridge Analytica data privacy Mark Zuckerberg Facebook users social media platforms Zuckerberg testimony EU GDPR American Civil Liberties Union European Union

Facebook has released more information on the social media platform's tracking of users off-site, after its CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, failed to answer questions about the process from United States politicians and as the company prepares to fight a lawsuit over facial recognition in California. "It's about beginning to question the types of information they have about you, beginning to question the transparency of the data that you share across all platforms, not just Facebook".

As per some reports over the web, David Baser, who is Facebook's Product Management Director, has given a clarification regarding the company's tracking practices along with data usage. Following that link, users will be directed to a section where they can see which apps and websites they have used Facebook to log into, and remove any they no longer want connected to their account. He says that companies like Twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn also have Facebook-like Like and Share buttons to help user share things on website. He says that Facebook doesn't sell this data and uses only it only to offer suitable content to you just like how other companies do.

According to Facebook, the information it receives can include the name of the website or app, your IP address, your browser, what operating system you use and whether you've visited the third-party site before.

Facebook, in return, helps those websites serve up relevant ads or receive analytics to study how people use their services.

Addressing the question about how it uses the collected data, Baser refuted that Facebook ever sells user data.


According to Baser, all websites and applications that use its tools have to get user permission to share personal user information. An uplifting thought. Better still, lots of companies are doing similar things, such as Twitter, Google and Amazon.

He also claimed that the information received from websites and apps was also used to help protect the security of Facebook. "We also get information about which website or app you're using, which is necessary to know when to provide our tools". This trend will unarguably continue, and most recently did with Facebook spreading gross data breaches across the globe. "Or if a browser has visited hundreds of sites in the last five minutes, that's a sign the device might be a bot". "If you've looked at travel sites, we can show you ads for hotels and rental cars", he said.

The blog post concluded by going over what controls users have over their data.

Following Zuckerberg's testimony, Dehaye made a complaint to the Irish data protection commissioner, noting the CEO "contradicted the pronouncements to me over past year by his own privacy Operations team".

"One of those being that everyone globally on their Facebook page will see an alert leading them to the apps setting where they can review the apps they have allowed to access their data".

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