How Facebook Tracks Users and Non-Users Alike

Ben Brooks, writing on Brooks Review:

Byron Acohido reporting on Facebook tracking cookies:

Facebook thus compiles a running log of all your webpage visits for 90 days, continually deleting entries for the oldest day and adding the newest to this log. If you are logged-on to your Facebook account and surfing the Web, your session cookie conducts this logging. The session cookie additionally records your name, e-mail address, friends and all data associated with your profile to Facebook. If you are logged-off, or if you are a non-member, the browser cookie conducts the logging; it additionally reports a unique alphanumeric identifier, but no personal information. Later Arturo Bejar, Facebook’s engineering director, is quoted as saying: “But we’re not like ad networks at all in our stewardship of the data, in the way we use it, and the way we lay everything out,” Bejar says. “We have a very clear and transparent approach to how we do advertising that I’m very proud of.” So I guess the real question is, do you trust Bejar, and therefore Facebook, in general when they say these things? What about now: Adding fuel to such concerns, Arnold Roosendaal, a doctoral candidate at Tilburg University in the Netherlands, and Nik Cubrilovic, an independent Australian researcher, separately documented how Web pages containing Facebook plug-ins carried out tracking more extensive than Facebook publicly admitted to. I just don’t buy anything Facebook is saying these days. Ben has been on a roll with good commentary. I quoted entirely to much of his piece, but did so anyway because I didn't know how quote just one part without leaving out the main point of his piece. Therefore, please please go to his site and subscribe to his RSS.