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Facebook is a venerated name in the world of social media. In fact, it still enjoys a coveted position as the leading and most popular social network on earth. So immense is its influence that all institutions, individuals, businesses, and governments have Facebook accounts to communicate with their target audience. However, there is another “face” of this “book” users need to beware of, and that is—Facebook’s continued encroachment on its users’ privacy.
Since the onset of this decade, Facebook is slowly and steadily venturing into forbidden territories by spying on user information, experimenting with their feelings without their prior consent, and tracking people’s online activities without their consent.
But what is more worrying is that when confronted with these issues, the company has learned what politicians do best—to explain everything away with abandon.
Moreover, Nik Cubrilovic dug a little deeper, and found out that Facebook spy tracks your location even after logging out of the site. But what does Facebook do in response to all these claims? It has simply come out and denied the claims. Since the company has not shown any commitment to stop these activities, it is your duty to protect the sanctity of your privacy.
So, what is the problem?
The biggest concern here is not just that the company can track how long you spend on the network, no. It has extended its snoopy behavior to include third–party sites that are connected to it and those using “like” buttons to send your private details without your prior consent.
Another concern is that the company’s new changes, the Open Graph-enabled social web apps, can now transmit info to Facebook, share your profile, and even share with your connections without your consent or theirs!
This trend means that using the applications automatically sends information to Facebook, giving it an un bridled leeway to share that information with your friends or it can add it to your profile—whether you want it or not!
Even though Facebook has changed its cookie policies (initially they never used to expire, and hence, they retained all your personal information even after logging out), you still need to protect yourself by clearing all your Facebook cookies every time you log out of it. The reason is that its current cookie policies remove all your information after logging out, there remains non–personal information regarding your browser and your operating system.
There’s tracking even after you log out
Additionally, it is emerging that when you log out of Facebook, you deauthorize your browser and its online apps. However, the logging out does not stop the social network from sending info to its site regarding your activities and location. In addition, by visiting any site that has direct connection to Facebook, you give the site the power to locate you in person. However, you can do something about this by deleting all your Facebook cookies from your system.
Why should you care?
But what about those online users who are not very active on the “book?” Is there a reason to be concerned? The answer is still “Yes.” The reason is that Facebook still believes when you visit any website or service that has a connection to its site a free way of marketing it to your connections without either your permission or theirs.
However, once again the company is dismissing these concerns and claiming that it does not intend to track your movements. On the contrary, it claims it just wants to ensure you have a seamless experience logging into its site as well as other sites and services that are connected to it.
You can do something about it
But what options do you have to deal with this growing level of infringement? Well, all hope is not lost since well–meaning developers are developing effective browser extensions to block Facebook on third–party services and sites you visit.
First, you can optimize the power of AdBlock Plus on popular browsers such as Firefox and Chrome. This tool will help you to block Facebook plugins and scripts across the Net.
This should also cover the Like buttons any time you are not visiting Facebook directly. The aim of these applications is to allow you to remain in control of what you share with Facebook and other social services.
They will also help you to take control of what you post on your Facebook account since currently, it is still difficult to establish how deep the company’s encroachment on people’s privacy runs.