Beware of Facebooks “Like”-Button

Whether you’re a publisher or an ordinary internet user, be aware of Facebooks “Like”-button! Facebook speaks with a forked tongue offering the social network. As a publisher, offering a “Like”-Button, you may find it  quite useful to become more public, despite the fact that search engines have a limited ability to evaluate those scores. However, what’s the effect for an ordinary (Facebook) user? Arnold Roosendaal (TILT, Tilburg University) wrote in his paper “Facebook Tracks and Traces Everyone: Like This!” about the methods and techniques.

Briefly, if you’re already a FB-user, you got an unique user-ID. This ID gets connected to a cookie which is used not only to log on to Facebook, it is also sent every single time you visit a web site which includes the “Like”-button. This means every interaction creates a list of your web behaviour of the last two years! Btw, for FB it’s not important to click the button. If you don’t have an account on FB, the web behaviour will collected anonymously. …as long as you don’t sign up. Here you can find more details: Facebook’s ‘Like This’ button is tracking you.

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