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Facebook is still tracking you, whether you have an account or not

21 April 2018

Facebook has been embroiled in a massive data breach controversy ever since it surfaced that British data firm Cambridge Analytica improperly gathered information on its 87 million users.

"I want to be clear: We don't sell people's data".

Right now, only European users are being asked to confirm their privacy settings in order to continue using the app, but that may change. Facebook Social Plugins such as Like and Share buttons are used by third-party apps and websites to make the site appear more social and also help share the website's content on the Facebook.

When third-parties engage such Facebook services, Facebook receives the corresponding information-even if you're not now logged in to Facebook or do not have an account.

Privacy advocates refer to these files on non-users as "shadow profiles", and, given Facebook's huge userbase, there's a good chance the company has one on you even if you've been diligent in avoiding the social network.

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Facebook CEO and Founder Mark Zuckerberg found himself in the hot seat for about 10 hours on Wednesday, Apr. 11.

Baser also admits that Facebook collects other crucial details also such as your system's IP address, the software that your computer uses, the type of browser you use to access the internet, and more.

But according to Monday's filing, Zuckerberg repeatedly admitted in his testimony that the Menlo Park, California-based company is "responsible for the content" on its platforms.

Baser said the company uses the data for three purposes: "providing our services to these sites or apps; improving safety and security on Facebook; and enhancing our own products and services".

The blog post states that it is not just Facebook that collects such data. Yes, you heard that right. He acknowledged that Facebook should not have trusted Cambridge Analytica's assurance that it will stop using user's personal information it collected. Facebook is now alerting users with two notifications: one if you were affected and one if you weren't. But if you don't have a Facebook account? The company has now tried to clarify on questions how it collects data even when people are actually logged out of the website or the app.

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Bill Gates has offered some reassuring words for embattled Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg - but warned that the company must play a leading role in helping the world figure out data privacy.

So, what does Facebook do with data it receives from other websites and apps?

"'Whether it's information from apps and websites or information you share with other people on Facebook, we want to put you in control - and be transparent about what information Facebook has and how it is used".

What do you think of Facebook's data collection practices?

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Facebook is still tracking you, whether you have an account or not