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It seems that Facebook is actually not using cookies to track you. At least not after you log out. Users, however, should still be wary about what Facebook knows about them and what it chooses to do with this information.

According to writer and hacker, Nik Cubrilovic, Facebook’s tracking cookies are not deleted when you log out of Facebook, but instead are simply altered. These cookies can then be used to track your online presence wherever you go via social plugins, to sell your information to third parties and for ad targeting.

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Facebook has recently responded to these allegations via a comment on ZDNet. A Facebook engineer denied that Facebook is using these altered cookies as a source of information, but says they are instead used to protect users against hackers, prevent underage users from trying to re-register and to identify shared computers (again, to protect users who choose the “keep me logged in” option).

Even if this is true, we should all keep in mind that cookies can definitely be used for tracking. For example, if you log on to Facebook from a public computer, your account information stays on that computer even after you log out. What this information is used for by Facebook is one thing, but your tracks are not covered.

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Also keep in mind that one of Facebook’s new features, frictionless sharing, will automatically share in your newsfeed any article you read which has the Facebook plugin. No active clicking involved  – it will just happen. Another good reason to stay logged out of your account while you’re surfing.

Sources: ZDNet, ReadWriteWeb

  1. Bob
    July 12, 2016 at 4:09 pm

    Delete FB cookie after logging out!

  2. Rafael
    September 27, 2011 at 3:50 pm

    "Also keep in mind that one of Facebook’s new features, frictionless sharing, will automatically share in your newsfeed any article you read which has the Facebook plugin. No active clicking involved – it will just happen."
    But they said you need to activate it on the Website by clicking the button once...

    • Yaara
      September 27, 2011 at 7:25 pm

      That could be true, but even so, the sharing itself will happen automatically. Which I find to be weird. I guess if someone opts in to something like this its his own "fault", but it seems like a tricky option to offer in the first place.

    • Rafael
      September 27, 2011 at 10:48 pm

      I don't see it that way, the feature is explained and the user can opt in and opt out anytime he/she wants... I'm just waiting to see if it'll be really useful though.

    • Yaara
      September 28, 2011 at 10:40 am

      That's what I usually say about privacy issues in Facebook - if you opt in, you should know what you write is public. I don't like it when people write stuff in Facebook and then complain it's not private.

      This option just seemed a bit excessive to me. I do hope they will make it an opt-in option, and not a default-on option you need to opt out of.

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