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Surprise, Facebook May Track Your Online Activity Even Without an Acco


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Facebook is finding itself in a little bit of hot water, as a report from two Belgian universities alleges the social networking website can track online activity even if you do not have a Facebook account. The report comes from the Belgian Privacy Commission, which tasked the University of Leuven and Vrije Universiteit Brussel to research Facebook's new privacy policies that were updated in January. In the report, Facebook uses cookies to track people's online activities without their consent, regardless of being logged out of Facebook, having a deactivated account, or specifically opted out of online advertising. Apparently it centers around Facebook's "Like" button, which can be found on more than 13 million websites. Cookies can be placed when anyone visits any site on the facebook.com domain, even if you're not logged in or use Facebook. All of this points to a potential violation of European privacy law, which explicitly states that cookies cannot be used without giving consent and that websites must advertise their cookie usage.

A spokeperson for Facebook denied the claims, as the Belgian report contained "factual inaccuracies" and its authors did not contact anyone at Facebook. The inaccuracies were not specified, so right now it is anyone's guess as to what may be incorrect. The spokeperson also said Facebook is in compliance with European privacy law, although the report says otherwise. For right now, it may be best to just keep watch of the cookies and what all information you share, regardless of being on Facebook or not.

Source: The Guardian via CBC News

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