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Facebook is now tracking non-users and showing them ads on other websites

By midian182
May 27, 2016
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  1. Facebook is ramping up the pressure on Google in the world of online advertising. The company has announced that it will now be showing ads to everyone who visits websites and uses apps that are part of its Audience Ad Network, instead of limiting them to members of the social media site.

    Previously, anyone who didn’t have a Facebook account wouldn’t see the ads on third-party websites or mobile apps that were signed up to the company's advertising network. Meaning that, for targeted advertising purposes, it only tracked its members.

    But now, according to the Wall Street Journal, Facebook will use techniques such as cookies, its own buttons, and plug-ins embedded on third-party sites to track all internet users. It will then use this infomation to serve up targeted ads to members and non-members alike.

    “Our buttons and plugins send over basic information about users’ browsing sessions. For non-Facebook members, previously we didn’t use it. Now we’ll use it to better understand how to target those people,” explained Andrew Bosworth, vice president of Facebook’s ads and business platform, to the WSJ.

    The company also plans to use its huge trove of user data to spot patterns in people’s behavior and better predict the interests of non-users; a tactic known as “lookalike” targeting. “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,” Bosworth added.

    Facebook has found itself in trouble from EU regulators for its use of tracking cookies in the past. Last year, a Belgian court threatened to fine the company 250,000 euros a day ($269,000) if it didn’t stop tracking the online activities of the country's non-Facebook members. The firm later claimed this was the unintentional result of a bug.

    Users can opt-out of the interest-based ad scheme by altering their ad preference settings. Any non-Facebook members can opt-out through the Digitial Advertising Alliance.

    Permalink to story.

     
  2. wastedkill

    wastedkill TS Evangelist Posts: 1,392   +329

    Adblock FTW!
     
    wiyosaya, Joba83 and BMfan like this.
  3. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 1,045   +276

    Yes, *facebook* for a custom filter helps with that, and the Permit Cookies 2 plugin for Firefox takes care of the cookies issue since the default is to block cookies from sites that are not in the permissions list.
     
  4. lripplinger

    lripplinger TS Addict Posts: 260   +90

    Yay another company that should have the crap sued out of them. So not even signed up for Suckerbergs' CIA spy operation, and yet they are still tracking you anyway. Facebook is like a cancerous tumor that needs to be destroyed.
     
  5. Rippleman

    Rippleman TS Guru Posts: 563   +178

    You do realize that tech-spot does the same thing right? And virtually all other business sites too right? You think techspot should be sued?
     
  6. lripplinger

    lripplinger TS Addict Posts: 260   +90

    Huh? I said Facebook should be sued.
     
  7. Rippleman

    Rippleman TS Guru Posts: 563   +178

    Yes you did, however, techspot is doing the same thing action... as is most for-profit websitses... so, if you are going to sue facebook book, why not techspot?
     
  8. Yynxs

    Yynxs TS Enthusiast Posts: 87   +16

    Any website that includes facebook, twitter, google analytics, or any other link on their site that is not being paid for by the linked company should be sued, in federal court in Washington, DC. When paid for the linked information, it is at least a business arrangement and revealed and stated as such. When not paid, it is outright spying on the website users.

    Including the 'facebook provided' code without pay, is just laziness on the web site designers to allow facebook to exploit javascript for its own profit.

    I am currently lobbying my congressman to add a law that makes all web sites hosted in the US and the servers that pass them to users to have a fiduciary responsibility to the registered user/paying user. This hopefully will mean, that any group in the little incestous food chain of advertising has to pay the users if personal or (and I love this part) 'deemed by the user" personal information is purveyed, distributed, or lost through mischance to outside parties NOT HAVING THE SAME PRIVACY POLICY as the web site or server. It's past time to stop hearing "It wasn't me! It was the Nazis! Check their website" excuse.
     

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