Facebook accepts tracking non-users, claims a ‘bug’ made it happened

Facebook can Track Non-Users through ‘a bug’ — Working to fix it as fast as possible.

Researchers at Facebook identified a “bug” that allowed them to track people who haven’t ever visited the website.

The discovery was made public by Richard Allen, the European policy vice president of the social networking giant, in a blogpost on Wednesday in which he explained that the bug helped the firm place cookies, which is a common technique to track the browsing habits of people on the Internet.

facebook-accepts-tracking-non-users-claims-a-bug-made-it-happened

 

However, the actual benefit of this bug is that it can track even those individuals who have never visited Facebook or created their account on this website. It must be noted that the tracking conducted via the bug is “inadvertent.” Allan also informed that Facebook has already begun its coding procedure.

Initially, the Belgian privacy regulators responsible for analyzing Facebook’s terms and policies noticed the constantly occurring tracking. They wrote:

“It is important to note that tracking of non-users initiates even if one does not visit the Facebook homepage. In principle, any page belonging to the facebook.com domain will result in the placement of a long-term, identifying cookie (e.g., an event page, a shop page, fan page …).”

During the research, it was also identified that there are also problems with the way Facebook allows people to disable tracking so that their personal information isn’t used for marketing purposes or their data is controlled somehow. They say that various policies of the company are in share contract with the European privacy regulations.

Facebook, on the other hand, pushed back all of its claims and just acknowledged the fact that non-users’ data is collected.

Allan explained:

“The report gets it wrong multiple times in asserting how Facebook uses information to provide our service to more than a billion people around the world.”

It is also a fact that the privacy watchdog has no authority to directly punish the company for any sort of perceived legal violations.

Yet, the criticism prevails and has arrived amid wider and more intensified concerns throughout Europe over the way prominent U.S web companies like Google and Facebook track users to market ads back to them. This may lead to a prolonged war between European capitals and Silicon Valley.

Facebook is constantly facing lawsuits for breaching users’ privacy. Just last week a class-action lawsuit was filed against the social media claiming that the Facebook’s data-collection program titled automatic face-tagging feature has helped Facebook create “the largest privately held stash of biometric face-recognition data in the world.”


Waqas

Waqas Amir is a Milan-based cybersecurity journalist with a passion for covering latest happenings in cyber security and tech world. In addition to being the founder of this website, Waqas is also into gaming, reading and investigative journalism.