If this is the first you’re hearing about it, here’s the rundown — Facebook places small files called “cookies” on your computer that stick around even after you log out. This isn’t a big deal. Loads of sites do this.
But here’s the trouble. When you visit a site that has Facebook functionality — one including a Like button, for example — those cookies report back to Facebook, leaving a record of where you’ve been on the Internet.
Facebook, to its credit, owns right up to this. But it claims it deletes this information as soon as it receives it. The cookies just stick around in order to help authenticate someone when he tries to log back in to Facebook.
Arturo Bejar, a Facebook director of engineering, told the Wall Street Journal, “The onus is on us is to take all the data and scrub it.” They are looking into ways to avoid sending any data at all but it will “take a while.”
Hardly an impressive track record on privacy for a company that used to obtain browsing information on Internet users who had never visited Facebook.com, as exposed last year by Dutch researcher Arnold Roosendaal.
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