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Facebook's 'Like This' Button Is Tracking You 273

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the of-course-they-are dept.
Stoobalou submitted a story about some of the most obvious research I've seen in a while ... "A researcher from a Dutch university is warning that Facebook's 'Like This' button is watching your every move. Arnold Roosendaal, who is a doctoral candidate at the Tilburg University for Law, Technology and Society, warns that Facebook is tracking and tracing everyone, whether they use the social networking site or not. Roosendaal says that Facebook's tentacles reach way beyond the confines of its own web sites and subscriber base because more and more third party sites are using the 'Like This' button and Facebook Connect."
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Facebook's 'Like This' Button Is Tracking You

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  • Wait so... (Score:5, Funny)

    by Haedrian (1676506) on Tuesday November 30, 2010 @02:04PM (#34391442)
    Facebook is actually using personal data and information which its collecting for me... in order to make profits? Facebook is tracking me in order to learn more about me?

    Who would have thought that an innocent company like Facebook, with no privacy issues ever - would stoop to that?

    I am shocked! This internet thing is so new to me.
  • by eldavojohn (898314) * <[moc.liamg] [ta] [nhojovadle]> on Tuesday November 30, 2010 @02:05PM (#34391474) Journal

    Facebook's 'Like This' Button Is Tracking You

    I now feel I have the courage to speak out about what happened one month ago.

    I was walking home from a late night shift and noticed a glassy aero blue vehicle drive by me slowly. I couldn't see inside through the blue glass reflection but the vehicle moved at an ominous pace. I quickened my pace and made hast for my house now only five blocks away. I broke into a run at four blocks, I was so close to home and safety. But I heard the squeal of tires on pavement behind me and my pulse spiked. I covered the next two blocks as fast as the wind but the blue vehicle was faster. It pulled up onto my lawn in front of me and the doors opened as I ran by it. I didn't look, I couldn't look at them but I heard pixelated fingers running through the grass as I scrambled to find the key to open my front door.

    I opened the door and turned around to slam it shut but there was a blocky thumb that caused it to bounce back. My wife came in to see what the commotion was about and screamed as the first hand with its blue cuff and erect them grabbed my ankle and tripped me. "Get the children to the panic room" I screamed. And in ten seconds my family was safe but I still grappled with the blue shaded hand holding me down mercilessly as three more hands with blue cuffs came in through the open door. Another held down my other ankle as the third raised his cuff to expose his fully erect thumb. The fourth pulled my pants down and I screamed in agony as I was viciously sodomized in my own living room while my family watched from the panic room camera. For hours it went on while the fourth Facebook 'Like' hand sat their smoking a cigar, laughing and rubbing his thumb and forefinger together when I asked why they were doing this to me. Why? Again, they rubbed their thumbs together with their fingers signifying money.

    The police said I was powerless, I had given up my right when I had clicked through the Terms of Service to join Facebook. Zuckface could do whatever he wanted to do to me and I was powerless. The policemen told me to go back to my Farmville and watch my crops and just be happy the 'like' hands had left me alive, at least the Zuck had shown some mercy. Then they excused themselves and cautiously walked out to their squad car, hands ready on their sidearms, alert for any remaining 'like' hands.

    It happened to me and it could happen to you.

  • by krazytekn0 (1069802) on Tuesday November 30, 2010 @02:14PM (#34391600) Homepage Journal

    I'm tired of Facebook, but there really is no good alternative.

    There is being social in person...but that's a little strange for us I admit

  • by CaptainPatent (1087643) on Tuesday November 30, 2010 @02:25PM (#34391798) Journal
    *CaptainPatent likes this*
  • by eldavojohn (898314) * <[moc.liamg] [ta] [nhojovadle]> on Tuesday November 30, 2010 @02:28PM (#34391868) Journal

    Thanks for the story. Now I won't be able to sleep tonight.

    There, there, fellow victim, I have a method to help you with this problem. Lay on your bed, look at your hand, now back to me, now back at your hand, now back to me. Sadly, your hand cannot stop the 'Like This' button, but if you stopped using Facebook and switched to Diaspora, you could avoid the blue terror like me. Look down, back up, where are you? You’re on a cloud with only about five hundred other users. What’s in your hand, back at me. I have it, it’s your mouse connected to your computer where you just need to enter your password one final time to leave Facebook. Look again, the mouse is now diamonds. Anything is possible when you're not promoting Facebook. I’m on a butterfly.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 30, 2010 @02:39PM (#34392044)

    Anonymous Coward likes this.

  • hmmm (Score:2, Funny)

    by jarkus4 (1627895) on Tuesday November 30, 2010 @02:39PM (#34392050)
    First, we dont really know they make any use of this data. They have the possibility, but they dont have to use it (its quite likely they do, but thats a different matter) Second, to avoid sending this data they would have to either limit some functionality or go out of their way and create some special domains to avoid passing the cookies between the systems. And this would be for no gain for them whatsoever - "not stealing" personal information is never a news topic. Also the only people who actually can be "offended" by this are some geeks that, lets be honest, are not an important market part to them, IMO the most realistic scenario for this is accidental data collection. They started partnering with whomever they could and putting their logo button there just to bring more traffic to their site (and their ads). PERHAPS then someone noticed that they can make also use of this extra data they get.
  • Re:ABP (Score:2, Funny)

    by noidentity (188756) on Tuesday November 30, 2010 @02:51PM (#34392258)

    And that is why we like Add Block Plus. Not only does it protect some of your privacy, it also speeds up your page loading.

    Unfortunately it makes your CPU slower, because it has to translate all the blocked ADD instructions into a NEG SUB pair.

  • by Wiarumas (919682) on Tuesday November 30, 2010 @03:14PM (#34392648)
    Facebook knows a lot about me: that I have no friends, no interests, and log in between the hours of 1 and 5AM from my mother's basement. I keep getting advertisements from Slashdot and World of Warcraft.
  • by oldspewey (1303305) on Tuesday November 30, 2010 @03:23PM (#34392820)

    It's trivial to block this --

    I'll give you $100 if you can somehow explain this process to my barely-computer-literate-but-facebook-loving relatives.

  • Re:Beacon (Score:1, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 30, 2010 @03:40PM (#34393128)

    Mmm... beacon.

"Now this is a totally brain damaged algorithm. Gag me with a smurfette." -- P. Buhr, Computer Science 354

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