Facebook tracking non-users... again

Facebook tracking non-users... again

Facebook have been in trouble before, for what they do with people who aren't even signed-up to the social networking site. Their 'Friend Finder' tool was accused of being 'unlawful'.

Well, looks like they've found a way around all that, and now, they're going to display adverts to people online who aren't Facebook members.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Facebook will use cookies, "like" buttons, and a host of other plug-ins embedded on third-party sites, so they can track members and non-members alike.

Facebook say that they'll be able to target non-Facebook users better, and serve relevant adverts to them as a result.

A number of European regulators will definitely be taking notes about this, and quite possibly getting very angry with Facebook.

"Publishers and app developers have some users who aren't Facebook users," Andrew Bosworth, vice president of Facebook's ads and business platform. "We think we can do a better job powering those ads."

Of course, everyone's at it online, when it comes to targeted advertising, however, Facebook think that they can do it better than anyone else, because of the huge amounts of data they've already got on people.

There's 1.7 billion people who use Facebook, so they're not playing around.

They say that they can use their data to deduce things about non-members: "Because we have a core audience of over a billion people [on Facebook] who we do understand, we have a greater opportunity than other companies using the same type of mechanism." added Bosworth.

The Belgian Privacy Commission and the French data protection agency have both gone after Facebook over privacy issues, mainly concerned with the way they track people.

Facebook subsequently updated their cookies policy this week, to echo the changes in their advertising network.

If you go to your settings on Facebook, you can opt out of the ad scheme, while non-members can do the same through the Digital Advertising Alliance in the US, the Digital Advertising Alliance in Canada, and the European Interactive Digital Advertising Alliance in Europe.

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