Story was on the financial news. There it was stated that you did not need to have a “facebook account” to get cookied; just visit Facebook. That is more in line with my understanding (but I’ve not gone into it in depth, just enough to know I didn’t want to visit the Facebook site). So when the article quotes Facebook saying “our users” realize that can mean someone who just clicks on a link there.
BRUSSELS — Facebook Inc. said Monday it would appeal a privacy decision by a Brussels court to stop tracking its users in Belgium without their consent.
Local media reported Monday evening that a Brussels commercial court had ruled that Facebook /quotes/zigman/9962609/composite FB +0.59% must stop within 48 hours the collection of data on users’ Internet browsing when they are not logged in. If they didn’t stop, then Facebook would face a daily fine of EUR250,000 ($269,000), the reports said.
“We’ve used the data cookie for more than five years to keep Facebook secure for 1.5 billion people around the world. We will appeal this decision and are working to minimize any disruption to people’s access to Facebook in Belgium,” a Facebook spokeswoman said. Facebook didn’t give further details of the verdict.
Facebook has acknowledged that it collects data on users’ Internet browsing even when they aren’t logged in, through a snippet of computer code called a cookie that it places within an individual’s Web browser if they have visited the Facebook.com website. That cookie reports back to Facebook whenever that browser accesses a Web page with an active social plug-in, such as a “like” button.
Facebook says the process is necessary for security purposes to protect people from spam, malware and other attacks. The firm says it uses the information from that cookie only to weed out browsers being piloted by a machine rather than a human, and discards the browsing data after 10 days. Machine-driven browsers are often used to hack into users’ Facebook pages, the company says.
An extended version of this report appears at WSJ.com.
The WSJ link requires you to log in or subscribe to read it, so don’t bother.
Now if you think they are ONLY tracking every place you EVER visit to check out the “active social plug-in” and never ever use it to generate statistics about traffic and usage patterns, well, have I got a bridge for you!…
And if you are comfortable they they are only tagging and tracking “every click you take, every link you make” when they’ll be watching you… well, we can make that bridge a BOGO for Today Only!!
(For those who might not be ‘up’ on American slang, BOGO stands for Buy One / Get One (free) – i.e. a 2 for the price of 1 sale. Stupid, but it has entered the language of marketing hustles… along with the “one day only” price that is repeated at every sale, that seems to be every other day…)
As I’m not fond of spending my days doing “cookie management”, I find it much easier to just not ever go to Facebook.
This is also part of why I use so many different browsers and “rotate my machines regularly”. Constantly on the move, leaving a trail of stale cookies behind me, means that their information about me is corrupted and skewed at best. (Whoever ‘they’ are at any one time).
Unfortunately, some sites that I do want to use, require cookies to be active in order to work correctly (like Bigcharts that uses them to keep my preferences set for ‘kind of chart’ and comparison tickers). My “ultimate solution” for this is in the works. That is to get a few 4 or 8 GB mini-SD cards and make a few custom copies of the “almost a Ratails” Pi system. One for trading ONLY. One for blog management ONLY. One for general browsing around and news R&D and reset after every use. Maybe one or two others for things like online banking and / or actually looking at a Facebook link someday (nuke / reset after each use).
As the R.PiM2 boots up in about the time it takes to have a long swallow of coffee, it isn’t like a chip swap and boot is taking enough time to matter.
FWIW, this is also why I generally avoid ALL the “social media” sites. They make money off of selling your information. I’m not interested in making that “trade” of “waste my time and get my info for your profit”. I don’t need to be that “social”…
So you won’t find me on Linked-in or Twitter or any of the rest of them either. (IFF I ever do get an account on any of them, it will be from a ‘dedicated device’ only; and turned off when not in active use.)
With that, a hearty Best Of Luck to scrappy little Belgium. May they set a privacy precedent reflected around the world.