Facebook disavows tracking with one hand, files tracking patent with the other

By , ITworld |  Cloud Computing, cookies, Facebook

Facebook, perpetually in trouble over user privacy, got hammered last week when it was discovered they have been tracking users after they left Facebook. Can we you say CookieGate?

Now the Feds are getting worked up, with politicians asking the FTC to investigate. And while Facebook says they are tracking anonymously for purely non-personal advertising information, the news just came out on Uncrunched that the company filed a patent that includes the line, "A method is described for tracking information about the activities of users of a social networking system while on another domain." It appears Facebook cookies are so nutritious they stick to your ribs long after you wander away.

Rarely does a company get caught so brazenly lying with proof so fresh as the patent application made on 9/22/11. The "Facebook does not track users across the web," quote came on 9/25/11. Perhaps the memo didn't get to everyone internally. Or perhaps they couldn't find the employee making the contradictory quotes. If only there was some way to know where a person was, anywhere on the Web. Oh, wait, there is, in our patent folder.

Curse you Facebook

Well, I’m just gonna go ahead and click the little “Like this on Facebook” button. Doh!
Sean Anderson on uncrunched.com

Thanks for the article...Done with Facebook!!!!
1April on washingtonpost.com

Yeah. It's also possible, and indeed true, that Facebook is lying through its teeth, aggressively tracking now while claiming not to, introducing ever-more-pervasive and invasive tracking without notifying users or giving them an informed choice in the matter, thus forcibly paving the way for the future that will place them in the most powerful position.
Bud on news.ycombinator.com

To adapt the lawyer joke: Q: How do you tell that a Facebook spokesperson is lying? A: Check to see if his lips are moving. Facebook has demonstrated on numerous occasions from the earliest days of the product that it holds user's privacy in contempt.

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