Facebook accused of tracking visitors

Facebook accused of tracking visitors

The privacy policies of social giant Facebook have once again fallen under scrutiny, as researchers have suggested that the platform tracks each visitor – even those without an account.

In a new report commissioned by Belgium’s data protection agency and shown exclusively to The Guardian, researchers claim that  Facebook is tracking each visitor’s web browsing regardless of whether or not they have a profile of their own on the site. The tracking occurs even for those who have asked not to be tracked via the European Digital Advertising Alliance website.

The issue is related to the platform’s social plugins, found on 13 million websites, as they detect users before sending cookies to facebook.com, without any user interaction needed on the page. The aim of the tracking is to show targeted ads, in spite of EU law stating that, in almost all cases, permission must have been granted before tracking can take place.

The law also states that websites should inform users, upon their first visit, that they utilise cookies before proceeding to request permission.

Many netizens are already sceptical when it comes to online privacy, and such news – since it concerns such a massive online platform – will only worsen the situation. Today’s businesses with an online presence need to ensure that their users have confidence in performing tasks on their websites, such as making enquiries or completing transactions. At the same time, however, companies also need to be protected from being tracked by the likes of Facebook. This only serves to highlight why filling cyber security jobs with the right staff is so important.

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