Facebook which is more than a billion users all over the globe tracks its users without their consent. A recent discovery has revealed the fact that Facebook not only tracks users when they log in but it does tracking even when you log out. On the other hand, Facebook has denied these claims but regardless of how much you use Facebook or why you use it, you have to take some steps in order to protect your privacy.
Whether you actively use Facebook or not, any website or web service that has connected your Facebook account with their website or any website that has Facebook Like button can send you personal information and usage data to Facebook without your permission. These websites can also post on your Facebook profile or share information with your Facebook friends without your explicit permission. Unfortunately that’s not the whole story.
When you log out from Facebook, it simply disconnects your browser connection with the Facebook website and de-authorize any kind of activity but it doesn’t affect Facebook cookies which never expire and continuously send data to Facebook. In other words regardless of you have logged out, Facebook cookies know who you are and what you are doing on the internet. Unlike most of the other websites and web tools, Facebook cookies don’t expire when users log out but they simply change themselves.
These tracking cookies contain your Facebook ID and they know who you are regardless of you have logged out from Facebook website. The only way to prevent this tracking is to logout from any other website or web service where you have used your Facebook account and then delete Facebook cookies manually from your computer. If you are a person who have concerns about his privacy then you should care. Surprisingly, Facebook engineers are well aware of this situation and according to them; this is a feature instead of an issue.
Additionally, Facebook says it does not track users’ activity on the internet, what websites they visit and Facebook has no intentions to collect users’ data. Luckily there are some ways to prevent 3rd party websites and services to send usage data to Facebook. Mainly there are four ways to deal with something like that.
- You can delete Facebook cookies every time you log out. It is not that difficult to clean your system from those tracking cookies but doing that manually every time you use Facebook is time consuming and frustrating.
- If you use Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox as you primary browser and you also use Adblock Plus then this method will work for you. You can download Facebook Privacy List for Adblock Plus and this extension will handle everything. All you have to do is get subscription and Adblock Plus will block Facebook scripts and like buttons on 3rd party websites whenever you are not using Facebook website directly.
- Facebook Disconnect is another extension that is exclusively available for Google Chrome and it does prevent Facebook tracking cookies to work on your computer in the first place. This extension allows Facebook website to work properly but prevent 3rd party websites to make connection with Facebook for authentication purposes.
- Disconnect is an extension that is available for Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox. This extension is also developed by the same developers behind Facebook Disconnect but this one is not limited to Facebook only. Disconnect prevent many websites and services to drop tracking cookies on the desktop computer and it works on Facebook, Google, Yahoo, Digg and Twitter.
There might be other ways to prevent Facebook and other websites to get their hands on your personal information and internet usage. Facebook does not have intentions to change this behavior in the future so you have to take actions in order to protect your personal information.