Facebook Admits Tracking Non-Users But Claims It Was A Bug
Facebook was recently accused of tracking people outside of the site without their consent. The news broke when researchers from Belgium published a report stating that Facebook drop cookies in the computers of people who are not even registered on Facebook.
Now the social media giant has spoken on the matter claiming that Facebook does not track people without their consent and that the cookies may have dropped into the computers of people because of a bug.
The report was published by the researchers from Computer Security and Industrial Cryptography department (Cosic) at the University of Leuven, and the media, information and telecommunication department (Smit) at Vrije Universiteit Brussels. They found out that cookies were dropped into the computers of people who were not logged into the Facebook at that time.
Not only that, the people who are not even on Facebook were tracked using these cookies, the report claims.
The cookies came into the computers from the websites which have Facebook social plugins such as the Like button which is found on most of the websites. When the user visited such a website, a cookie was placed into his or her computer which was then used to track the user.
Facebook has given clarification on most of the claims of the report in its extensive blog post. The social media company has denied that they track users without users’ consent.
We don’t, and this is not our practice. However, the researchers did find a bug that may have sent cookies to some people when they weren’t on Facebook. This was not our intention – a fix for this is already under way.
The researchers have now said that Facebook unfairly attributed statements to them they did not make, and that they stand behind their findings.