You’ve probably heard all over the news Facebook being criticised for tracking users, not just users logged onto the system, but users that are even logged out. Spooky hey. This all triggered off by Nik Cubrilovic, an Australian technology entrepreneur, who found out that even after he was logged out, the cookies were still delivering information that was tracking his movements on the web.
Cookies are small file that are stored on the computer when you visit websites, the information stored are like user ID, website name, e-commerce information, time spent on a site, which are some of the basics, the list can be endless, and you can get quite clever with cookies to even track your layout preference, colour scheme…etc
So how does Facebook track your movements?
Even after you have logged out of your Facebook account, test showed that your cookies were not being deleted, instead they were being updated maintaining your account information, and also adding other unique ID that would identify you as an individual. So when you next visited a website that had a Facebook Like button, your web browser would still send information back to Facebook.
Facebook has been under the spot light numerous times over the past years for security and privacy concerns, and this one again adds to their list. Even after these accusations Facebook is still denying that they are not tracking web movements of logged out users. Furthermore Facebook claims that they do not sell our information, but delete it within 90 days. So whom do you believe?
Fees – Are we the product or are we being sold?
As if the tracking of users wasn’t enough, at the same time, there has been numerous rumours doing rounds on Facebook that, they are going to start charging its users to use the site. Users will have couple of packages that they need to upgrade too.
Facebook has picked this up and responded by posting the below message on its wall, which has been liked by over 466,665 till now.
” A rumor on the internet caught our attention. We have no plans to charge for Facebook. It’s free and always will be.”
We use the web every single day, some of us cant imagine life without Facebook and other Socail media profiles, but does that make it okay and legitimate to track our movements, or is it a step too far. On the other hand, is this something all Socail Media Platform do such as Twitter, Google +, but Facebook has only been caught out in the act, or maybe it could be a feature in place to work with Governments, Police, and Local authorities to track crime and suspicious activities on the web. Who knows?
For now Facebook does have some exciting new features launching to the profile pages, and I’m sure we will still continue to use these platforms. – So does that mean we can forgive whatever mistakes they make? Share your thoughts with me in the comments below.