Friday, May 20, 2011

Social networks as Big Brother

Have you noticed those "Like" and "Tweet" buttons that are popping up all over? A new study suggests they are being used by Facebook and Twitter to track your browsing, even when you don't click them!. It may be time to consider logging off of Social Networks, as these companies are going overboard in their efforts to know everything about their users.

The widgets, which were created to make it easy to share content with friends and to help websites attract visitors, are a potentially powerful way to track Internet users. They could link users' browsing habits to their social-networking profile, which often contains their name...

For this to work, a person only needs to have logged into Facebook or Twitter once in the past month. The sites will continue to collect browsing data, even if the person closes their browser or turns off their computers, until that person explicitly logs out of their Facebook or Twitter accounts, the study found.

Facebook, Twitter, Google and other widget-makers say they don't use browsing data generated by the widgets to track users; Facebook says it only uses the data for advertising purposes when a user clicks on a widget to share content with friends.
I don't want to be one of those paranoid people who assumes the worst of every company. But these days, the Social Networks are giving us every reason to be suspicious.

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