Facebook is once again facing intense scrutiny from the tech community concerning privacy tracking as it was found out and confirmed by Facebook that they were indeed tracking users by “learning about those who visit its website” (USA Today.com) To achieve this, Facebook engineering director, Arturo Bejar, explains that Facebook utilizes tracking cookies like those used by online advertisers and websites the like of Google, Yahoo, Microsoft and Adobe.
This type of online technology has helped advertisers for many years as it has helped them direct users to particular ads in their locality. However, concerns over the use of these information has sparked privacy debates especially when there is a huge risk of selling the gathered information to a third party for profit.
Yet, Zuckerberg and other Facebook officials are adamant about their use of online tracking.
It contends that it does not belong in the same camp as Google, Microsoft and the rest of the online ad industry’s major players. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg made this point to interviewer Charlie Rose on national TV last week.
For the past several weeks, Zuckerberg and other Facebook officials have sought to distinguish how Facebook and others use tracking data. Facebook uses such data only to boost security and improve how “Like” buttons and similar Facebook plug-ins perform, Bejar told USA TODAY. Plug-ins are the ubiquitous web applications that enable you to tap into Facebook services from millions of third-party web pages.
Facebook spokesman Andrew Noyes says the company has “no plans to change how we use this data.” He also says the company’s intentions “stand in stark contrast to the many ad networks and data brokers that deliberately and, in many cases, surreptitiously track people to create profiles of their behavior, sell that content to the highest bidder, or use that content to target ads.”
However, this does not sit well with privacy advocates citing that
“Tracking data can be used to figure out your political bent, religious beliefs, sexuality preferences, health issues or the fact that you’re looking for a new job,” says Peter Eckersley, technology projects director at the Electronic Frontier Foundation. “There are all sorts of ways to form wrong judgments about people.”
What is your stand in this issue? This is not the first time that Facebook have been criticize for tracking online users. Just months it was also found out that Facebook Apps have been selling information to third parties for profit. Fears for privacy online is growing more rapidly as people have become more dependent on the internet.
Read the Full article at USA Today