Belgian regulators have ordered Facebook to stop tracking people who have logged out of the service—and those who never signed up in the first place.
The Guardian's Samuel Gibbs reports on the local regulators' demands, which come in the wake of a report that said the internet giant "has shown itself particularly miserly in giving precise answers" to its questions about exactly what it does to spy on web users.
According to a report commissioned by the Belgian data protection agency Facebook has been tracking users on a long-term basis who visit any page – be it a fan page, profile or any other portion of the site that does not require a Facebook account to visit – belonging to the Facebook.com domain. The opinion published on Friday noted that because Facebook has the power to link internet users’ browsing habits to their real identity, social network interactions and sensitive data including medical information, religious, sexual and political preferences, it is in a unique position compared to most of the other cases of so-called “third-party tracking”.
Facebook can keep an eye on the web in general thanks to the omnipresent "like" and "share" buttons added to websites, which provide Facebook with a snapshot of technical information concerning those to whom the buttons are served. Even if it's just an IP address and browser environment basics—the proverbial non-Facebook visitor—this metadata could conceivably be cross-referenced with other sources of information to build a picture of internet users' behavior and preferences.
"There is nothing more important to us than the privacy of our users," Facebook told The Guardian, in response to earlier coverage of its troubles with the EU, which has already found that Facebook tracks users without consent.
Coming after improvements to Firefox and continued unease at Google’s life-pervading insight, this image is outperforming the ███████ ████ Virality Control Group today (via). It got me thinking about all the promises that were made. Here’s the earliest article in Google News to contain “Big browser” in its headline, published by Time Magazine on Nov. […]
The WiFi232 is a traditional old-timey old-schooley Hayes-compatible 300-115200 baud modem, no wider than its own parallel DB25 port. Automatically responds with a customizable busy message when already in a call. The killer app seems to be using it to get internet onto ancient retro portables like the TRS-80 Model 102, but it’s been put […]
Most tech-media takes on the iPhone’s 10th anniversary are bland and self-congratulatory, but I like Tom Warren’s at The Verge. He laments how Apple’s pocket computer killed his inner nerd. As a youngster, he’d be constantly tearing down and building computers, even in the sweltering heat of summer. But now… …All of that tinkering and […]
Just because English has become the common global tongue doesn’t mean it’s the easiest language to write—even for native speakers. If you’re looking to improve your written communication skills, especially on your smartphone, take a look at Ginger Page.Ginger is a cross-platform app that offers corrections for phrasing as well as grammar. It’s powered by […]
The current web development landscape is rife with buzzwords and technology that gets abandoned almost as soon as it’s made. If you’ve never written a line of code before, it can be hard to figure out what’s coming, what’s here to stay, or how to get ahead.This Beginner Web Development Bundle is a great place […]
The Fader Stealth Quadcopter from TRNDlabs packs incredible flight performance into a package small enough to land on your phone screen, and it’s available now in the Boing Boing Store.The Fader’s six-axis gyroscope module gives it perfect balance in the air. This makes the onboard 720p HD camera all the better for shooting amazing flight […]