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Facebook is still tracking you, whether you have an account or not

21 April, 2018, 10:23 | Author: Melinda Barton
  • Congress Never Wanted to Regulate Facebook. Until Now

This law is designed make tech companies like Google and Facebook comply with rules regarding the protection of their customers' data.

Facebook has been embroiled in a massive data breach controversy ever since it surfaced that British data firm Cambridge Analytica improperly gathered information on its 87 million users.

"Facebook provides a network where the users, while getting free services majority consider useful, are subject to a multitude of nontransparent analyses, profiling, and other mostly obscure algorithmical processing", said Johannes Caspar, the data protection commissioner for Hamburg, Germany.

Justifying this he added Google and Twitter does the same, and that there are many websites and apps that use Facebook services like measurement tools, Facebook ads etc to target users with specific content and ads, when people log in to their accounts from any mobile devices or even visit any websites.

Trouble is, non-users haven't given their consent to have his personal data collected, and what's worse, don't have any recourse to access this data without registering. Even though the Facebook shares dipped Thursday morning, they are still up almost 3% since Zuckerberg entered the Senate on Tuesday. On Tuesday the company has offered a public explanation. People want to know if and how their data was used by Facebook and third parties. It plainly states that its data collection "includes information about the websites and apps you visit, your use of our services on those websites and apps, as well as information the developer or publisher of the app or website provides to you or us". He says that companies like Twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn also have Facebook-like Like and Share buttons to help user share things on website.

Zuckerberg said during testimony last week that the company collects data about people who have not signed up for Facebook "for security purposes". With Facebook Analytics, websites and apps can better understand how its audience make use of their services. "This is because other apps and sites don't know who is using Facebook", Baser said in his post as part of Facebook's Hard Questions series.

Baser's full blog post can be viewed here. This is likely going to cause some tension when Europe's GDPR kicks in, as the regulation requires data-portability for all citizens, not just Facebook users. 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.

The blog post also reviews the types of controls people with Facebook accounts have over their data. Should you then register on the network, you'll find it already has an uncanny ability to suggest friends from your social and professional circle before you've told them any details.


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