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US Congressmen: Facebook Evading Privacy Questions 109

An anonymous reader writes "Two U.S. congressmen have accused Facebook of evading questions about whether it tracks users in order to deliver targeted ads. Joe Barton, a Texas Republican, and Edward Markey, a Massachusetts Democrat, said the social networking giant failed to adequately answer questions raised by a patent application that suggests Facebook could be tracking users on other websites. The duo previously asked the Federal Trade Commission to investigate accusations that Facebook tracks its users even after they log out of the social network, an issue the company says it has since fixed."
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US Congressmen: Facebook Evading Privacy Questions

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  • by ElmoGonzo ( 627753 ) on Tuesday January 10, 2012 @03:25PM (#38654626)
    And even after logging out a week ago, I find 2 cookies for "any type of connection" that won't expire for at least a year. They "fixed" it but good.
  • Adblock Filter (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 10, 2012 @03:27PM (#38654676)


  • Re:Google Analytics (Score:5, Informative)

    by GameboyRMH ( 1153867 ) <gameboyrmh@NoSpam.gmail.com> on Tuesday January 10, 2012 @03:37PM (#38654794) Journal

    Bzzt, wrong, both track only the pages on which the tracking code is placed (typically ALL of them). I know this because I've set up these systems as part of my job.

  • Re:Google Analytics (Score:5, Informative)

    by NeutronCowboy ( 896098 ) on Tuesday January 10, 2012 @03:48PM (#38654948)

    It's the new Anti-Google astroturfer. The last one got killed because it he admitted he was a paid astroturfer for MS. This one isn't going to last very long either. Note for anyone who is wondering why I know (with >95% certainty) that DCTech is a paid astroturfer:
    * brand new handle
    * posts random Google is evil posts in the most unrelated topics
    * does so within seconds of the article being up
    * does little other than post Google is evil

  • Re:Google Analytics (Score:5, Informative)

    by GameboyRMH ( 1153867 ) <gameboyrmh@NoSpam.gmail.com> on Tuesday January 10, 2012 @03:50PM (#38654962) Journal

    No you're still wrong. Yes you can put it in the template, and you can do the same with the Facebook button. The Analytics code doesn't use mind control waves to force the web dev to put it in the template. It isn't unusual to see a Facebook button in a site's "static areas" that appear on every page that lets you Like the company. Technically you are 100% wrong and practically you are grasping at straws.

    Facebook is pretty close to GA in popularity now. Look, even Slashdot, the home of the privacy-aware geek, has fucking facebook buttons now, what does that tell you.

  • Re:Google Analytics (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 10, 2012 @03:59PM (#38655072)
    I don't know why you guys are arguing... you both said the same thing. The components of either exist exactly where site owners put it.

    Yes, site owners tend to put analytics code in sitewide templates. That's kindof the point of analytics. On the other hand, FB code goes on millions of sites that don't use google's analytics, and it almost certainly correlates and stores more actual user-specific data.
  • Re:Google Analytics (Score:4, Informative)

    by camperslo ( 704715 ) on Tuesday January 10, 2012 @04:25PM (#38655442)

    Will the people who are not using a script in ABE (the Application Boundary Enforcer) in NoScript to prevent Facebook from doing things to you on other sites kindly make yourselves known by raising both feet?

    The script to enter looks something like this (see NoScript website):

    # This one allows Facebook scripts and objects to be included only
    # from Facebook pages
    Site .facebook.com .fbcdn.net
    Accept from .facebook.com .fbcdn.net

    Whatever happened to the NoScript feature for dealing with Web bugs or as AT&T / Yahoo call them, web-beacons? IRC there was a feature for that on untrusted sites. It seems like one to have all the time. Maybe something to avoid loading ANYTHING from other domains would be a good default much of the time too. If other content is that important, the host could be a proxy or users can grant permission. Ebay surely needs something like that.

  • Re:3rd-party cookies (Score:4, Informative)

    by wdef ( 1050680 ) on Tuesday January 10, 2012 @05:51PM (#38656522)

    Cookies are absolutely not the problem, the vast array of sites installing facebook tracking scripts on their pages is the problem.

    In which case, use http://www.ghostery.com/ [ghostery.com] to block trackers.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 10, 2012 @08:02PM (#38658078)

    Covers any program that is webbound, not just particular browsers that have AdBlock, per the subject-line above:

    (Add either of these lines to your hosts file using a text editor & be sure to save it as "hosts", not "hosts.txt" (notepad's NOTORIOUS for that)).

    --- fbcdn.net

    or fbcdn.net


    * The latter's actually smaller & faster, thus imo, is the better, more efficient option (that's just as universally compatible as the loopback adapter address, but smaller by 2 characters, & has no loopback operation @ all (just a "blackhole")).

    (Of course, this OR the AdBlock filter noted by the poster I am replying to's going to go over like a "lead balloon" with actual FaceBook users - man, in MOST folks I know that are "into facebook"? Well... I've noticed they REALLY TRULY LOVE THAT PLACE!)


    P.S.=> Hosts files also operate out of PnP driver ring 0/rpl 0/kernelmode operations, which are FAR faster than browser addons (which tend to slow browsers down & add memory + CPU consumption & other forms of I/O too), which operate in ring 3/rpl 3/usermode... apk

To write good code is a worthy challenge, and a source of civilized delight. -- stolen and paraphrased from William Safire