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Facebook Fixes Post Log-Out Cookie Behavior 80

An anonymous reader writes "Over the weekend, self-proclaimed hacker Nik Cubrilovic accused Facebook of tracking its users even if they log out of the social network. The company responded by denying the claims and offering an explanation as to why its cookies behave the way they do. Now, Cubrilovic says Facebook has made changes to the logout process, and detailed what each cookie is responsible for."
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Facebook Fixes Post Log-Out Cookie Behavior

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  • If I log out, and it's a multi-user computer, it taints the cookie's value.

    I doubt it has anything to do with doing the "right thing"

    • by maxume ( 22995 )

      Nah, they just estimated that dealing with the backlash was going to cost them more than losing a little bit of data from the small number of people that begin logging out consistently.

      I highly doubt it was because of a fundamental misunderstanding about what the logged out cookies were good for.

      • by AvitarX ( 172628 )

        I don't know, if I were paying for browsing data of facebook users, I'd want it to be accurately attached to a real name.

        Once the news broke, I imagine customers were pissed that they were being sold poor quality data.

        • by maxume ( 22995 )

          I tend to believe Facebook's unequivocal denial that they sell user-tracking information more than I believe your "They do so".

          (It's plenty believable to me that their initiatives to put Facebook content on other sites are simply about getting people to use Facebook more...)

          • by AvitarX ( 172628 )

            I really assumed they allowed it to be used for the sake of targeting ads, but keep a buffer between it and their customers.

            But like Google doesn't sell tracking, but they use the data to sell things at a higher rate.

            If I were targeting ads at Facebook users, I would want to be sure it was the right ones, that's what I'm paying for. The increased data has less value, because it is less accurate.

            • by AvitarX ( 172628 )

              I should add, I don't think it was done maliciously, I think it was an over-site. They want accurate data.

            • by maxume ( 22995 )

              The part where that argument falls apart for me is that Facebook can track the behavior for a logged in cookie separately from a logged out cookie. So they can sell both the 'this is what logged in users look like' and the 'this is what users computers look like'. That they would not be using the data in the way that it is most valuable to them is basically preposterous (for a variety of reasons; they are interested in money, they have a large amount of technical talent, etc.).

              I suppose they might have been

    • by EdIII ( 1114411 )

      it taints the cookie's value.

      There is nothing right about taint and cookie being in the same sentence, so I agree with you on principle.

  • Zuckerberg is a fucking asshole, he's not a genius like the show portrays him, and hes has no principals.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      hes has no principals.

      That is because he's not in school anymore.

    • by jo42 ( 227475 )

      That's Mr. Douchebagberg to you.

  • by Riceballsan ( 816702 ) on Tuesday September 27, 2011 @02:00PM (#37529058)
    First off we never did it, secondly we've stopped doing it. If I am ever taken to court for theft that's what I'll try, "Your honor first of all I never stole anything, secondly I just gave it all back and won't do it again".
    • by ackthpt ( 218170 )

      First off we never did it, secondly we've stopped doing it. If I am ever taken to court for theft that's what I'll try, "Your honor first of all I never stole anything, secondly I just gave it all back and won't do it again".

      If a tree falls in the forest and nobody is there to Like it, does it matter?

    • by EdIII ( 1114411 )

      You think that is something?

      Maybe you should watch some of the congressional hearings on C-SPAN. It's mind bending logic and great show. Unfortunately, it's Reality TeeVee.

  • why use the net? I mean seriously- there are satellites and VW bugs watching our house.
    • Or Facebook at all for that matter, the sole purpose of the site is to share information about yourself so that people can track you.

    • At this point not using the net isn't particularly feasible. And it's getting worse as more and more essential services move to it. It used to be that everything that one legitimately needed to do had an offline equivalent, but the direction things are flowing that might not be the case for much longer.

      And even where one doesn't have to be online to do something, it's often times significantly faster to use the online equivalent rather than doing it offline. Not to mention things like statements where banks

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Usually when someone is identified as "self proclaimed," it means they aren't what they say they are. It's a de facto insult.

    Is Nik not a real hacker?

    • It means what it says. It doesn't mean it's untrue. It's more likely that whoever wrote the article sees admitting you're a hacker as tantamount to breaking the law, or something stupid like that.

  • Not worried (Score:5, Funny)

    by ackthpt ( 218170 ) on Tuesday September 27, 2011 @02:06PM (#37529142) Homepage Journal

    I'll be moving over to Google+, where I know they won't spy on me. ;) ;)

  • They don't need cookies anyway. There are a lot of other ways to track you without a cookie. As long as we download all those "like" buttons from the webpages we visit they get to track us. The cookie would just make the tracking a little bit easier.

    • yep. Don't need a cookie, don't need to ever be affiliated with facebook or have ever signed up. If that like button is tracked on a website that also has other personal info associated (maybe even your first name), you just got linked to every other linked website and so on. Basically, advertisers know far more than just "simon S2 visited a website".

      • by gorzek ( 647352 )

        Exactly. Most people's browsers send up enough information to every site you visit that you can be uniquely identified--or at least narrowed down to a very small sample. Even when you aren't logged in, Facebook can correlate that browser data with known profiles and figure out who you are without much trouble.

  • Duh (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Moheeheeko ( 1682914 )
    Using a service like facebook for free? news flash: You aren't the consumer, you are THE PRODUCT.
    • Using a service like facebook for free? news flash: You aren't the consumer, you are THE PRODUCT.

      Some of us choose to "opt out" of that equation.

    • by Dunega ( 901960 )
      It's not a news flash and most people don't care, for better or for worse...
    • Using a service like facebook for free? news flash: You aren't the consumer, you are THE PRODUCT.

      This isn't limited to just free services.

      Remember the news a few days back about OnStar changing their TOS so they can sell data they collected from current and former customers?

      Yes, you get to pay for the privilege of being a product.

  • they 'fixed' it. This implies that it was doing something that Facebook didn't want it to do.
  • It's not a fix if they can, or might, undo it in the future.

  • 'Unfollow Nik Cubrilovic' -- Facebook
  • Did Fecebook integrate BleachBit into their log-out process?

    Oh yeah...Welcome to the Internetz, Nik. Don't take candy from strangers.

  • Pizza the Hutt would have tracked Lone Starr using Pizza-face Book. []

Marvelous! The super-user's going to boot me! What a finely tuned response to the situation!