Sometimes you’re being followed when you think you’re alone. The Sydney Morning Herald reports:
An Australian technologist has caused a global stir after discovering Facebook tracks the websites its users visit even when they are logged out of the social networking site.
In alarming new revelations, Wollongong-based Nik Cubrilovic conducted tests, which revealed that when you log out of Facebook, rather than deleting its tracking cookies, the site merely modifies them, maintaining account information and other unique tokens that can be used to identify you.
Whenever you visit a web page that contains a Facebook button or widget, your browser is still sending details of your movements back to Facebook, Cubrilovic says.
“Even if you are logged out, Facebook still knows and can track every page you visit,” Cubrilovic wrote in a blog post.
He backed up his claims with detailed technical information. His post was picked up by technology news sites around the world but Facebook has yet to provide a response to Fairfax Media and others.
Stephen Collins, spokesman for the online users’ lobby group Electronic Frontiers Australia, said he did not believe Cubrilovic’s revelations would see people turn away from the site in droves but he hoped users became more engaged with the issue.