Facebook Tracking Sites Its Users Visit
Such controversial tracking cookies have been used by Google, Adobe, Microsoft and Yahoo justified Arturo Bejar, Facebook’s Engineering Director.
Facebook introduces a session cookie and a browser cookie every time a user logs in to it. From that point, each time one visits the site having the Facebook technology, the cookie sends an alert to FB plug-in and informs of the date, time and URL one has visited.
FB also tracks the unique IP address, operating system and browser version. Spokesman for FB ,Andrew Noyes assures users that these tracking means are clearly defined in the company’s privacy policies and even its Help Center web pages. He also said that these policies are in place to boost the security as well as personalize content.
Critics like Peter Eckersley of Electronic Frontier Foundation, a digital rights organization, aren’t convinced. Expressing serious concerns over the practice followed by Facebook, he told USA today that such tracking data can keep a track of a person’s political stand, religious beliefs, sexual and health preferences.
Also unwilling to take the company’s word as is, Representatives Joe Barton of Texas and Ed Markey of Massachusetts sent a letter to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) requesting for an investigation on Facebook’s practices. Australian Technologist, Nik Cubrilovic, who has been “tracking the issue” for a year got the response from a FaceBook rep saying no unique information is being sent through cookies but the company is not removing them entirely. For the users’ protection, Cubrilovic has asked that people should not be complacent and should still use a separate browser for Facebook or, at least, be sure to delete the cookies after they log out.