Facebook Tracks You Even If You Are a Non User; Here’s How
Recently the world saw the founder of world’s biggest social media platform Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg appear right before US Congress, to answer some unanswered questions regarding the privacy of Facebook users and also the information about the Cambridge Analytica scandal.
But even there, he didn’t address all “hard questions” the way that they were supposed to. One of the things that he failed to address during the questioning is the way Facebook has been keeping an eye for all these years on even the non-users and even on those Facebook users even after they sign out from the platform.
Zuckerberg however, did acknowledge that Facebook tracks all the activities of its users online, for security reasons. However, that does not mean that they are not collecting data of its non-users.
However, the confirmation by the CEO himself can now help regulators find ways to stop the practice. But the bad news is that you can’t really do anything about it for the time being and nor does it provide any access to the non-users of the data that Facebook has been collecting for years now.
In a blog post, Facebook’s product management director, David Baser, wrote that the company tracked users and non-users across websites and apps for three main reasons: providing services directly, securing the company’s own site, and also for the purpose of improvement of their products as well as the services.
One thing users also need to note is that other players like Twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn, Google, Amazon, etc also offer such features like Share buttons, logins, and again information is shared with them as well.
Here’s how Facebook really does it. So what happens is when someone visits any site their IP address gets shared with the internet. But that is not the only information that goes public. Most websites also rely on cookies to keep a track of user data.
With the help of these cookies, anyone can identify the sites a user frequently visits, it basically stores some of this information, including browsing history. For example, if one visits Amazon and searches for a phone, then the next time, you open Amazon on the browser, it will show a page about that phone again. Cookies are the only reason all of this happens.
As Facebook explains, they get access to all this information from a site or app using their services. So you might not have a Facebook account, but information about the browser, IP address will be shared to the network, thanks to all the sites and apps which are using its services. Facebook says this information is necessary “to know when to provide our tools” to bring more improvements to their platform.