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Facebook & privacy

Quirksintech. Mark Zuckerberg runs a giant spy machine in Palo Alto, California.


He wasn’t the first to build one, but his was the best, and every day hundreds of thousands of peopl eupload the most intimate details of their lives to the Internet. The real coup wasn’t hoodwinking the public into revealing their thoughts, closest associates, and exact geographic coordinates at any given time. Rather, it was getting the public to volunteer that information. Then he turned off the privacy settings. If the state had organized such an informationd rive, protestors would have burned down the White House. . – Marc Ambinder and D.B. Facebook Says It May Be Allowing 'Too Much' Free Speech In Some Nations.

Facebook finally admits to tracking non-users. Facebook tracking is under scrutiny. In recent weeks, Facebook has been wrangling with the Federal Trade Commission over whether the social media website is violating users' privacy by making public too much of their personal information.

Facebook tracking is under scrutiny

Far more quietly, another debate is brewing over a different side of online privacy: what Facebook is learning about those who visit its website. Facebook officials are now acknowledging that the social media giant has been able to create a running log of the web pages that each of its 800 million or so members has visited during the previous 90 days. Facebook also keeps close track of where millions more non-members of the social network go on the Web, after they visit a Facebook web page for any reason.

STORY: Facebook targeted with porn, violent images To do this, the company relies on tracking cookie technologies similar to the controversial systems used by Google, Adobe, Microsoft, Yahoo and others in the online advertising industry, says Arturo Bejar, Facebook's engineering director. Gov't may track all UK Facebook traffic. The UK government is considering the mass surveillance and retention of all user communications on social-networking sites including Facebook, MySpace, and Bebo.

Gov't may track all UK Facebook traffic

Home Office security minister Vernon Coaker said on Monday that the EU Data Retention Directive, under which ISPs must store communications data for 12 months, does not go far enough. Communications such as those on social networking sites and instant messaging could also be monitored, he said. "Social-networking sites, such as MySpace or Bebo, are not covered by the directive," said Coaker, speaking at a meeting of the House of Commons Fourth Delegated Legislation Committee. Facebook tracks what you do online, even when you’re logged out. Updated 10pm Pacific with comments from Facebook.

Facebook tracks what you do online, even when you’re logged out

Entrepreneur and hacker Nik Cubrilovic reports that Facebook can track the web pages you visit even when you are logged out of Facebook. According to Cubrilovic’s tests, Facebook merely alters its tracking cookies when you log out, rather than deleting them. Your account information and other unique identifiable tokens are still present in these cookies, which means that any time you visit a web page with a Facebook button or widget, your browser is still sending personally identifiable information back to Facebook. Nik Cubrilovic Blog - Logging out of Facebook is not enough. Important Update: Facebook has responded and issued a fix for this issue.

See the follow up blog post "Facebook Fixes Logout Issue, Explains Cookies" Dave Winer wrote a timely piece this morning about how Facebook is scaring him since the new API allows applications to post status items to your Facebook timeline without a users intervention. It is an extension of Facebook Instant and they call it frictionless sharing. The privacy concern here is that because you no longer have to explicitly opt-in to share an item, you may accidentally share a page or an event that you did not intend others to see.

Facebook Disconnect. Germany: Facebook Like button violates privacy laws. Facebook's Like button today was found in violation of Germany's strict privacy laws.

Germany: Facebook Like button violates privacy laws

Commissioner Thilo Weichert, who works for the Independent Centre for Privacy Protection (ULD) in the northern German state of Schleswig-Holstein, said the social network’s plugin, which allows Internet users to express their appreciation of something online, illegally puts together a profile of their Web habits. Facebook 'Like' Button Declared Illegal In Germany. Germany outlaws the Facebook 'like' button over it's ability to track people on the web whether the belong to Facebook or not. : cyberlaws.

Wirklich? Germany declares Facebook ‘Like’ button illegal. Facebook ‘like’ button declared illegal. It’s the end of the web as we know it « Adrian Short. 25 September 2011 When you own a domain you’re a first class citizen of the web.

It’s the end of the web as we know it « Adrian Short

A householder and landowner. What you can do on your own website is only very broadly constrained by law and convention. You can post the content you like. You can run the software you want, including software you’ve written or customised yourself. If you use a paid-for web service at someone else’s domain you’re a tenant. When you use a free web service you’re the underclass. The conclusion here should be obvious: if you really care about your site you need to run it on your own domain. But it’s no longer that simple. Anyone who’s ever run a website knows that building the site is one thing, getting people to use it is quite another.

Traffic used to come from three places: the real world (print advertising, business cards, word of mouth, etc.), search engines and inbound links. Social networks have changed all that. Not so long ago you had to be on MySpace if you were an up-and-coming band. Facebook's Eerie Goal: Why Timeline Changes Everything.

For those out of the loop, Facebook just introduced the Timeline at its recent F8 Conference.

Facebook's Eerie Goal: Why Timeline Changes Everything

Besides the obvious changes in aesthetics thanks to the Sofa acquisition, Timeline alters everything from the purpose of the Facebook profile, to the way Facebook is pushing users to rethink their own privacy. TechCrunch recently published an article about Why The Timeline Changes Nothing. Well, they’re wrong. The timeline changes everything.