Facebook: sorry for tracking you - it was a bug, honest

13 April 2015

facebook mobile You may recall that 25,000 people were suing Facebook over personal privacy issues, which were roundly laughed at by the social network.

The Belgian Privacy Commission (BPC) made claims that Facebook were tracking all visitors to their site - even those that didn't have a Facebook account. It is one thing tracking your own customers, but those that haven't signed up certainly won't want to be followed around online by Zuckerberg's company. There were also allegations that Facebook were tracking those who had explicitly chosen to opt out of being tracked.

Facebook rejected the claims, but it turns out that they were a little hasty in doing so. It turns out that they had a bug, honest.

They said the bug resulted in collection of non-Facebook user's data via websites embedded with their 'Like' button and, with a straight face, said that it was an accident.

"We don’t, and this is not our practice. However, the researchers did find a bug that may have sent cookies to some people when they weren't on Facebook. This was not our intention – a fix for this is already under way,” said Richard Allan, Facebook’s vice president of policy for Europe.

He continued: "The report gets it wrong multiple times in asserting how Facebook uses information to provide our service to more than a billion people around the world. If someone opts out, we no longer use information about the websites and apps that person uses off Facebook to target ads to them."

"People can opt out of seeing ads on Facebook that are based on the websites and apps they use off Facebook through the industry-standard Digital Advertising Alliance opt out, the European Interactive Digital Advertising Alliance opt out or the Digital Advertising Alliance of Canada opt out. Here, they can opt out of these ads from Facebook and from more than a hundred other companies. People can also opt out using their phone settings," he added.

"Facebook honours this choice on any device where you use Facebook, whether it’s your phone, tablet, or desktop. When you opt out, Facebook no longer shows you these types of ads, but it also means Facebook does not add this information to the interest lists we use to decide what ads to show you."

Are you having that?

TOPICS:   Social Media   Privacy

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