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

    by MobyDisk ( 75490 ) on Tuesday January 10, 2012 @04:04PM (#38655128) Homepage

    3rd-party cookies are a contributing factor to some of these privacy violations.

    At what point did it become standard for browsers to accept 3rd-party cookies? The original cookie spec explicitly forbid them, and only reason that I know of to support them is to allow sites to track you across other domains. No web application, shopping cart, etc. should ever need to use them. Further, they seem like a terrible security flaw.

    I was surprised to find that Firefox enables this by default, and some web forums (Engadget) are even complaining if you turn them off. I think we need to nip this in the bug, but I am curious when and why this default changed.

  • Re:Google Analytics (Score:1, Interesting)

    by DCTech ( 2545590 ) on Tuesday January 10, 2012 @04:14PM (#38655268)

    That makes no sense. Facebook like button really isn't on all pages of the internet because it makes no sense to have it on them, and isn't as widespread either. But every site wants to see how many visitors they have and all other information about them.

    But hey, if you don't believe me, take a look at Blekko's Grep the Web []. As part of crawling the web they do exactly this kind of stuff, to determine how many websites have something compared to other.

    Here we can find number of domains with Google Analytics []: 12,380,670
    Here we can find number of domains with Facebook like button []: 522,242 + 817,817 = 1,340,059

    Yep, exactly the same. Except that Google Analytics is installed on 11 million more domains than Facebook like button.

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