Facebook still missing the most critical privacy setting after FTC settlement

Facebook agreed to privacy audits for the next 20 years.

After Facebook’s privacy settlement with the FTC, what you do on Facebook will be more protected.  That’s good news, but it doesn’t address the fact that Facebook tracks its members (and even non-members) off Facebook.  And Facebook knows more about your internet activity than ever before.

There is no privacy setting anywhere in Facebook that lets you block them from tracking you across the web.

Facebook Like buttons are tiny tracking devices:  any time you see one on a site, it’s sending information about you back to Facebook.  We’ve been posting about this privacy invasion for a few months now.

Since the Electronic Privacy Information Center and 14 other consumer groups filed their FTC complaint about Facebook in May 2010, the number of Like buttons on the top 10,000 websites has increased from 3,900 to 16,000 today, a 310% jump:

Source: http://trends.builtwith.com/widgets/Facebook-Like

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg addressed the public’s concern in a blog post, admitting “we’ve made a bunch of mistakes.”  However, he carefully avoided mentioning that Facebook shares users’ personal information with advertisers, both on Facebook itself and on any site using Facebook’s like buttons.  It was a surprising oversight, considering that Facebook’s disclosure of its users’ personal info to advertisers was one of the eight counts against the company (count 5 specifically).

From here on, Facebook has to be more open about what it’s doing with your data.  But this doesn’t mean it’ll stop tracking you or sharing your info with advertisers, only that it has to be clear that it’s doing it.

Our totally free, no-strings-attached (we swear; we’re giving it away for a limited time right now) browser add-on, Do Not Track Plus, stops Facebook from tracking you while allowing you to keep using Facebook your way.  It also blocks hundreds of advertisers and tracking companies.  Learn more about how it works here.  Think of us like the privacy settings Facebook should have had.  Maybe then it wouldn’t have gotten into trouble!




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