Facebook officials are now acknowledging that the social media giant has been able to create a running log of the web pages that each of its 800 million or so members has visited during the previous 90 days. Facebook also keeps close track of where millions more non-members of the social network go on the Web, after they visit a Facebook web page for any reason.
Online tracking involves technologies that tech companies and ad networks have used for more than a decade to help advertisers deliver more relevant ads to each viewer. Until now, Facebook, which makes most of its profits from advertising, has been ambiguous in public statements about the extent to which it collects tracking data.
The scary part here isn’t that Facebook is tracking all this data about its users.
What I find more disturbing is:
- They are tracking this data for NON Facebook users as well. All you need to do is visit webpages with Facebook buttons or content.
- People don’t know that companies like Google and Yahoo have been doing this for years. Think about all the sites with Google Analytics or AdWords. Google knows when you visit those pages.
Online privacy is important. But at some point you have to come to terms with the idea that you can’t be anonymous on the internet.
The real question is: do you trust Facebook and Google with this data?