Facebook can track your browsing activity after you've logged out
Facebook tracks users through third party websites that feature the Facebook “like” buttons. When users visit web pages with embedded “like” buttons, the browser automatically sends information to both Facebook and the server of the web page.
MENLO PARK, CALIFORNIA — A U.S. judge has dismissed a lawsuit against Facebook that accuses it of tracking users’ browsing activities even after they’ve logged out of their Facebook accounts. According to the judge, plaintiffs could have kept their online activity private but chose not to.
Websites create small text files known as cookies that are stored in the users’ computers that allow websites to recognize the users and their preferences. Cookies are usually deleted after users log out of the websites.
The plaintiffs alleged that Facebook had promised that cookies are deleted when users log out, but in fact, the site continues to store user data such as their account IDs.
Facebook tracks users through third party websites that feature the Facebook ‘like’ buttons. When users visit web pages with embedded ‘like’ buttons, the browser automatically sends information to both Facebook and the server of the web page.
U.S. district judge Edward Davila in San Jose, California dismissed the lawsuit on June 30, stating that the plaintiffs did not prove that they suffered “realistic” economic harm or loss, according to the Guardian.
Davila also states the plaintiffs could have easily stopped Facebook from keeping track of their browsing activities but chose not to. Furthermore, they cannot bring privacy and wiretapping claims against Facebook again, but can pursue a breach of contract claim again, the Guardian reports.
Facebook started using web browsing data for interest-based advertising in 2014, which displays ads for products that users have already been looking at in their Facebook feed. Users can choose to opt out of this type of advertising by modifying their account settings. Other ways to stop Facebook from tracking are installing VPN and blocking third party cookies.
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