In the Wall Street Journal today, there is an interesting article about Facebook and Twitter’s tracking abilities.
The cute little sharing widgets that are on every website (including this one); the Facebook like button and Tweet this button, gives these companies the ability to track our activity on the internet. If we’ve logged into Facebook or Twitter, a cookie is placed in our browser. Then, if we visit any web page with one of the social media widgets, our visits are tracked and communicated back to Facebook, Twitter, etc.. What shocked me is that it can be tracked whether or NOT we click the LIKE or Share button.
According to the article, a person just needs to login to their FB or Twitter account once in the past month. The sites will continue to collect browsing data until the user actively logs out of their account.
Facebook and Twitter say the data is used for advertising purposes, and deleted within weeks. Regardless, the data is available for whichever purpose they choose. Personally, I’ll be very conscientious about logging out in the future.
Here’s a nice diagram on how this social tracking works:
Click here to read the full article from the Wall Street Journal