Beta

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

US Congressmen: Facebook Evading Privacy Questions

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the you-can't-handle-the-truth dept.

Facebook 109

An anonymous reader writes "Two U.S. congressmen have accused Facebook of evading questions about whether it tracks users in order to deliver targeted ads. Joe Barton, a Texas Republican, and Edward Markey, a Massachusetts Democrat, said the social networking giant failed to adequately answer questions raised by a patent application that suggests Facebook could be tracking users on other websites. The duo previously asked the Federal Trade Commission to investigate accusations that Facebook tracks its users even after they log out of the social network, an issue the company says it has since fixed."

cancel ×

109 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Google Analytics (-1, Troll)

DCTech (2545590) | more than 2 years ago | (#38654544)

Why don't they do anything about Google Analytics? It's MUCH larger privacy issue than Facebook like buttons and users have to go through the same trouble to block them both. They are also both installed by webmasters who agree to conditions. Google Analytics is on billions of websites, even Slashdot, and tracks EVERYTHING. They need to do something about that first.

Re:Google Analytics (4, Insightful)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#38654580)

It's exactly the same privacy issue as the Facebook buttons, except that Google is much less likely to have your real name.

Re:Google Analytics (0, Troll)

DCTech (2545590) | more than 2 years ago | (#38654646)

It's not exactly the same. Google Analytics tracks all pages on domain, site-wide. Facebook buttons only the page where they are. There's a huge difference. Also, Google really likes to change the whole thing about knowing your real name.

Re:Google Analytics (4, Informative)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#38654794)

Bzzt, wrong, both track only the pages on which the tracking code is placed (typically ALL of them). I know this because I've set up these systems as part of my job.

Re:Google Analytics (0, Troll)

DCTech (2545590) | more than 2 years ago | (#38654852)

You're wrong. Google Analytics is installed inside head of html document, and you almost always do this in the template so it really goes to every page on site. Facebook buttons are only on the pages where it makes sense, like news items. On top of that Google Analytics is used on like 99% of sites while Facebook buttons are on far less. Analytics is currently much larger privacy issue, and you know it.

Re:Google Analytics (4, Informative)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#38654962)

No you're still wrong. Yes you can put it in the template, and you can do the same with the Facebook button. The Analytics code doesn't use mind control waves to force the web dev to put it in the template. It isn't unusual to see a Facebook button in a site's "static areas" that appear on every page that lets you Like the company. Technically you are 100% wrong and practically you are grasping at straws.

Facebook is pretty close to GA in popularity now. Look, even Slashdot, the home of the privacy-aware geek, has fucking facebook buttons now, what does that tell you.

Re:Google Analytics (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38655072)

I don't know why you guys are arguing... you both said the same thing. The components of either exist exactly where site owners put it.

Yes, site owners tend to put analytics code in sitewide templates. That's kindof the point of analytics. On the other hand, FB code goes on millions of sites that don't use google's analytics, and it almost certainly correlates and stores more actual user-specific data.

Re:Google Analytics (3, Informative)

camperslo (704715) | more than 2 years ago | (#38655442)

Will the people who are not using a script in ABE (the Application Boundary Enforcer) in NoScript to prevent Facebook from doing things to you on other sites kindly make yourselves known by raising both feet?

The script to enter looks something like this (see NoScript website):

# This one allows Facebook scripts and objects to be included only
# from Facebook pages
Site .facebook.com .fbcdn.net
Accept from .facebook.com .fbcdn.net
Deny INCLUSION(SCRIPT, OBJ, SUBDOC)

Whatever happened to the NoScript feature for dealing with Web bugs or as AT&T / Yahoo call them, web-beacons? IRC there was a feature for that on untrusted sites. It seems like one to have all the time. Maybe something to avoid loading ANYTHING from other domains would be a good default much of the time too. If other content is that important, the host could be a proxy or users can grant permission. Ebay surely needs something like that.

Re:Google Analytics (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38660602)

This is what using more than one browser is for. I use Chrome for my web apps - Facebook, GMaps, GMail, GCalendar, etc.

Everything else, normal web browsing, I use Firefox. It's never logged in to Facebook or any of the above, and I don't use "Like" buttons. Why "Like" stuff anyway? I don't see the point.

Anyway, using two browsers is not such a big deal, and solves all these issues, doesn't it? If I could suggest something to the Firefox team, it would be allowing people to run two or more separate profiles at the same time. Separation of browser activities.

Or, making it easier for the user, automatically switch to a specific profile when you browse a particular site. You can stay "logged in" for convenience, but activities on certain sites never cross over to others, as they're used in different profiles.

Re:Google Analytics (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38659702)

Bullshit. I bet nearly all sites that have a FB button also use google-analytics... In fact I challenge you to find a site that doesn't, and that isn't in direct competition with them.

Nearly 100% of the sites I go to use GA for tracking.

Re:Google Analytics (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38655222)

Facebook is pretty close to GA in popularity now.

You're wrong. Facebook has far surpassed the state of Georgia in popularity.

(I got nothin'. I just found a bunch of successive "You're wrong" posts amusing.)

Re:Google Analytics (1, Interesting)

DCTech (2545590) | more than 2 years ago | (#38655268)

That makes no sense. Facebook like button really isn't on all pages of the internet because it makes no sense to have it on them, and isn't as widespread either. But every site wants to see how many visitors they have and all other information about them.

But hey, if you don't believe me, take a look at Blekko's Grep the Web [blekko.com] . As part of crawling the web they do exactly this kind of stuff, to determine how many websites have something compared to other.

Here we can find number of domains with Google Analytics [blekko.com] : 12,380,670
Here we can find number of domains with Facebook like button [blekko.com] : 522,242 + 817,817 = 1,340,059

Yep, exactly the same. Except that Google Analytics is installed on 11 million more domains than Facebook like button.

Re:Google Analytics (1)

sleepy_weasel (839947) | more than 2 years ago | (#38656840)

I see the 'google-analytics.com' on several sites when I go in an enable certain domains in chrome. I block all JS and cookies, and only allow what I want to.

So, I block all the facebook, google, and doubleclick stuff that shows on the page.

Having said that, I've been using google for years. I am sure I was stupid sometime back in the day and logged into my Gmail, G+, Google Wave, Gdocs, etc on an unsecure browser, and they have my settings.

If you use Google login, do you know that you should turn off your 'browsing history' with google? Yea, they keep track of that shiat...

https://www.google.com/history/ [google.com]

Then shut it down... I turned mine off years ago, but if you haven't done that, you're being tracked regardless...

Re:Google Analytics (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38657474)

Anyone who cares if people actually stay on their site puts GA code at the bottom of the template, or in some type of "wait until document is loaded" mechanism. You don't want your users to see the page hang while it waits for Google to answer the request. Vendors of tracking pixels also insist that you put their snippets in the head, but when your tracking pixels start adding up (dozens) there's no way in hell you let your vendors decide when your page loads.

To say that GA is installed inside the head tag or that it really does go to every page is ignorant at best. What, I can't write conditional javascript or server-side code that determines when the GA code hits the page? Based on your assumptions about GA I think you must be quite amateur. You sound like you just know how to do what you're told and that's it.

Re:Google Analytics (1)

DCTech (2545590) | more than 2 years ago | (#38659234)

I was obviously talking about how people usually do it. Of course you can do all sorts of tricks or server side determination on when to include GA, but that's completely beside the point and not how majority do it.

Re:Google Analytics (1)

Moheeheeko (1682914) | more than 2 years ago | (#38654592)

Its simple, Google ponied up the dough, Facebook did not.

Re:Google Analytics (1)

Tokolosh (1256448) | more than 2 years ago | (#38654610)

Watch out Google, Facebook is coming after you for patent infringement. If you do not pay the licensing fee, SOPA will be activated.

Re:Google Analytics (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38654778)

Golf clap. You really can turn every thread into something negative about Google, can't you? You must be some sort of meta-anti-search engine, what with all the insightful information you bring to each and every thread where you fear that someone MIGHT not have the opinion that Google is evil. Did Larry and Sergey go to Stanford with you and make jokes about your mom? What's the deal?

Re:Google Analytics (4, Informative)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | more than 2 years ago | (#38654948)

It's the new Anti-Google astroturfer. The last one got killed because it he admitted he was a paid astroturfer for MS. This one isn't going to last very long either. Note for anyone who is wondering why I know (with >95% certainty) that DCTech is a paid astroturfer:
* brand new handle
* posts random Google is evil posts in the most unrelated topics
* does so within seconds of the article being up
* does little other than post Google is evil

Re:Google Analytics (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38655150)

wow, you're a fucking loser. maybe find some value in your life, and you wont have to resort to building profiles on slashdot commenters.

if you'd all just use your fucking heads and think for yourselves, it wouldnt matter to you who is saying XYZ about companies ABC.

but bahhh bahhh little slashdot sheep. you're so far behind, you think you're winning the race.

Re:Google Analytics (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38655516)

I'd like to voice my disagreement with the above AC, whose rudeness casts a shadow upon the proper anon's who provide interesting and thoughtful commentary. NeutronCowboy, thanks for the analysis; it was insightful. Don't let the above 1% fellow get to you.

Re:Google Analytics (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38656606)

lol "1% fellow". if you people ran out of trendy mccarthyisms like "troll, shill, astroturfer, 1%" etc, you'd have no occasion to comment on anything

ps downmodding ACs does nothing but throw your mod point at a phantom, thus making it unavailable for purposeful and meaningful feedback. thanks.

Re:Google Analytics (1)

Kr3m3Puff (413047) | more than 2 years ago | (#38655502)

I thought you were being just paranoid and delusional, but I took a look at his post... All of them are:
  * Google is evil (with a minor in Bing isn't)
  * Linux UI stinks (imply MS is good)
  * Right holders RULE!

I hope he got good money for his soul.

Re:Google Analytics (1)

gnick (1211984) | more than 2 years ago | (#38656590)

Actually, I'd argue that there's evidence that he's simply a crazed MS fanatic who wants to bash all of it's competitors. Here's a list of what I've compiled supporting this:

*Microsoft would only pay him if he could even marginally make them look better instead of looking like a hare-brained MS-loving lunatic.

OK, I admit it was a short list, but I think a valid one.

Re:Google Analytics (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38656652)

Damn - "its" not "it's." I hate falling into one of my own peeves...

-gnick

Re:Google Analytics (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38660434)

That's not how guerrilla marketing works. As soon as this story falls from the front page he will make sure an mod up himself before it hits the archive. They've been at this at least a year, probably more. I could name at least a dozen of the handles involved. However, they change handle when a non-AC calls them out on it. Expect a new 2.6m UID soon.

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/2/cdd1ea06-7cc0-11e0-994d-00144feabdc0.html [ft.com]

Facebook has admitted that it secretly hired a public-relations group in the US with the aim of generating stories critical of Google’s approach to privacy.

The disclosure is the latest sign of the increasing rivalry between Facebook and Google, as they go head-to-head over internet users’ time and advertisers’ budgets.

Burson-Marsteller, a WPP-owned PR agency whose clients also include Microsoft, contacted US newspaper reporters and opinion-piece writers with a view to securing coverage on Google’s alleged use of personal information from Facebook and other social networks.

The agency did not inform the journalists that it was acting on behalf of Facebook.

Re:Google Analytics (1)

improfane (855034) | more than 2 years ago | (#38661550)

The ones I know are SharkLaser and InsightIn140Bytes but they are so obvious.

You would think someone would actually realise what they are doing. It's like going to a party and bullshitting to everyone. It makes you an ass and unacceptable in social situations.

Re:Google Analytics (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38655578)

I think you're making a mistake in taking sides and presenting this guy as an "other". As companies are built from groups of people that collectively don't choose what is right and instead choose what makes money, they are all a little bit evil.

Re:Google Analytics (2)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | more than 2 years ago | (#38655938)

You're right that companies are built from individuals, and that they have their own, valid opinions. However, that's not the problem here. If an MS employee wants to post their opinion under a pseudonym, I'm fine with that. I'm fine with someone liking MS products, and posting that. But that's not what's going on here: someone is paid to take a position and defend it at all cost. There is no debate going on here, merely advertisement.

I object to being advertised to by someone pretending to not be advertising, in an environment that I specifically selected because it is not filled with advertisement. Dupes, hot grits and GNAA won't get me to leave Slashdot. Astroturfers will.

Re:Google Analytics (1)

DCTech (2545590) | more than 2 years ago | (#38656112)

Yes, because someone who has different opinion is obviously a paid shill. Do you even notice how paranoid you sound?

Re:Google Analytics (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38657362)

Yes, because someone who has different opinion is obviously a paid shill. Do you even notice how paranoid you sound?

If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck.

Re:Google Analytics (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38660372)

http://www.engadget.com/2011/05/12/facebook-admits-hiring-pr-firm-to-smear-google/ [engadget.com]

http://www.forbes.com/sites/kashmirhill/2011/05/12/facebook-admits-being-behind-smear-campaign-against-google/ [forbes.com]

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/2/cdd1ea06-7cc0-11e0-994d-00144feabdc0.html [ft.com]

Time to retire this handle now, shill. Sleep well knowing you not only are basically a paid liar, but you have now resorted to insulting people for your job.

Re:Google Analytics (1)

improfane (855034) | more than 2 years ago | (#38661556)

You are a paid shill. You have no genuine opinions since you are obviously willing to change them on a dime.

Don't you want to think for yourself?

Re:Google Analytics (1)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 2 years ago | (#38655704)

Yep, I've noticed the slant. All you gotta do is mark him enemy, watch the FUD spew, ignore and move on. Hell, his post history matches what you say and it's relatively new.

I guess MS must be a bit bored with the last astroturfer.

Re:Google Analytics (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38661716)

"The last one got killed because he admitted he was a paid astroturfer for MS."

link or STFU. This is the innarweebs.

Re:Google Analytics (-1, Troll)

datavirtue (1104259) | more than 2 years ago | (#38654790)

Google Google Google....this about FaceBook bashing, NOT Google! Your ID isn't low enough to change the subject. Bye Bye

They Should Check Facebook (1)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 2 years ago | (#38654586)

Two U.S. congressmen have accused Facebook of evading questions about whether it tracks users in order to deliver targeted ads

If they want answers, they should just check Facebook's "Facebook Ad Targeting" group page. I'm sure it's "leaking" all the answers they crave. /sarcasm

Re:They Should Check Facebook (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#38654910)

I disagree, this is the correct course of action. Ultimately it could lead to subcommittee hearings and changes to the law. Of course that probably won't happen as politicians in the US care less about privacy than the millions of idiots that willingly give FB their private details, but it is hypothetically possible.

Plus, if you don't talk with the execs running FB you can't scare them into reforming or get information that they haven't made public. I'm guessing that they've already read that page and found it to be insufficient.

"Fixed" could mean many different things (5, Informative)

ElmoGonzo (627753) | more than 2 years ago | (#38654626)

And even after logging out a week ago, I find 2 cookies for "any type of connection" that won't expire for at least a year. They "fixed" it but good.

Re:"Fixed" could mean many different things (4, Insightful)

SniperJoe (1984152) | more than 2 years ago | (#38654766)

I do believe that in Facebook's dictionary, "fixed" is defined as maintaining the same functionality using a different method, thus granting plausible deniability.

Re:"Fixed" could mean many different things (4, Insightful)

tripleevenfall (1990004) | more than 2 years ago | (#38654876)

I don't know why regulators don't get this. Facebook's business IS farming personal information. The company's value is based on it. Their future expectations of profitability all depend on being able to sell it.

Of course they will maintain the veneer of compliance, while still doing the exact same things. If they have to pay tribute to a politician or issue an apology, so what? Pennies in a fountain. They have the world's largest pile of the world's most valuable commodity.

Re:"Fixed" could mean many different things (2)

Osgeld (1900440) | more than 2 years ago | (#38655650)

"They have the world's largest pile of the world's most valuable commodity."

What? that Joe drinks miller and likes kinky dildo's?

Its a bubble based on intangible information that only 2 cooperations seem to be interest in while the rest of the world instantly mental blocks their product as reflex

Re:"Fixed" could mean many different things (1)

ILongForDarkness (1134931) | more than 2 years ago | (#38655942)

I agree here to some extent. Things like Joe drinks Miller has little use unless you can either convince Joe to drink something else, or convince Joe to buy more Miller from you. The information that is useful I think is the non-obvious. Say they were able to figure out that guys named Joe drinking Miller prefer trucks. Than they can sell that information and voila, Joe sees lots more truck ads than car ads everywhere he goes. Since it is an order of magnitude more valuable to have Joe click on an ad than just show him one this increases the odds of this high value activity and makes each display ad more valuable since it is more targeted.

Re:"Fixed" could mean many different things (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38657076)

Things like the "kinky dildo" part can net a foreign intel agency a large amount of gains.

Say Joe is a sysadmin. He is approached that the fact that he likes certain things will be handed over to his boss which likely would mean his job. He is told that this won't happen if a certain public SSH key is installed on the router and some production servers.

Or perhaps take Jane Flight Surgeon. An attacker who has zero physical presence in the US could find out easily who her kids are, and pay some local gang to "remove" her progeny so Jane would hand over some encryption keys.

Don't forget propaganda campaigns. Watching FB can tell you almost immediately if Elbonia's campaign to cause bad morale among Latveria's troops is working or not by posts on FB.

Re:"Fixed" could mean many different things (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#38654966)

Well that is one of the definitions of fixed. As in fixed to the wall.

Mostly all of it is ads (1)

na1led (1030470) | more than 2 years ago | (#38654632)

90% of what you see and hear is ads, only 10% is actual content!

obligation? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38654644)

Is Facebook under any obligation to cooperate with 2 random congressmen that asked them questions?

Re:obligation? (1)

forkfail (228161) | more than 2 years ago | (#38654970)

Yes. Though, I'm sure that Facebook would prefer people believe otherwise.

Re:obligation? (1)

flaming error (1041742) | more than 2 years ago | (#38655012)

Probably not yet.

Facebook can refuse to co-operate. Then congress could start an investigation and subpoena the information, which facebook would be obliged to obey. And then congress could write new legislation targeting facebook.

Or, facebook could try to quietly ignore the request and ratchet up their sponsorship of legislators.

Re:obligation? (1)

tripleevenfall (1990004) | more than 2 years ago | (#38655124)

Their best plan of action is to do as little as possible, exactly what it takes to make politicians calm down and nothing more.

Re:obligation? (2)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#38655224)

At this point, probably not, but if they choose not to they could end up receiving a congressional subpoena. And even in the absence of that ignoring congress critters that have taken an eye to ones business practices isn't necessarily a wise idea.

If in doubt... (5, Funny)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#38654658)

Honestly, guys, it isn't that hard. Pretty much any question about facebook can be answered by asking yourself "If the NSA and the National Enquirer merged, what would they do?"

Re:If in doubt... (3, Funny)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 2 years ago | (#38654836)

I prefer thinking about the NSA merging with Weekly World News: "Bat Boy completes spying mission in Iran, destroys Iranian nuclear plant singlehandedly"

Re:If in doubt... (1)

tripleevenfall (1990004) | more than 2 years ago | (#38654902)

Grope the bat boy's groin and waterboard Elvis?

Re:If in doubt... (1)

game kid (805301) | more than 2 years ago | (#38654988)

Pretty much any question about facebook can be answered by asking yourself "If the NSA and the National Enquirer merged, what would they do?"

Write a headline like "Kirstie Alley Fat AGAIN: How TOP SECRET Crypto Work Keeps Saavik Looking Like Sperm Whale"?

Pffft (2)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 2 years ago | (#38654664)

I think congress should look in the mirror when it comes to evading questions... or taxes for that matter

Re:Pffft (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38657052)

And I think they should look about for useful work. I'm sure there's something Congress is supposed to be doing right now that they aren't. Like killing SOPA and PIPA for example, or figuring out what to do about the budget.

Adblock Filter (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38654676)

||facebook.com^$third-party,domain=~facebook.net|~fbcdn.com|~fbcdn.net
||facebook.net^$third-party,domain=~facebook.com|~fbcdn.com|~fbcdn.net
||fbcdn.com^$third-party,domain=~facebook.com|~facebook.net|~fbcdn.net
||fbcdn.net^$third-party,domain=~facebook.com|~facebook.net|~fbcdn.com

Hosts file filter (even better) (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38658078)

Covers any program that is webbound, not just particular browsers that have AdBlock, per the subject-line above:

(Add either of these lines to your hosts file using a text editor & be sure to save it as "hosts", not "hosts.txt" (notepad's NOTORIOUS for that)).

---

127.0.0.1 fbcdn.net

or

0.0.0.0 fbcdn.net

---

* The latter's actually smaller & faster, thus imo, is the better, more efficient option (that's just as universally compatible as the loopback adapter address, but smaller by 2 characters, & has no loopback operation @ all (just a "blackhole")).

(Of course, this OR the AdBlock filter noted by the poster I am replying to's going to go over like a "lead balloon" with actual FaceBook users - man, in MOST folks I know that are "into facebook"? Well... I've noticed they REALLY TRULY LOVE THAT PLACE!)

APK

P.S.=> Hosts files also operate out of PnP driver ring 0/rpl 0/kernelmode operations, which are FAR faster than browser addons (which tend to slow browsers down & add memory + CPU consumption & other forms of I/O too), which operate in ring 3/rpl 3/usermode... apk

I'm more concerned about what CONGRESS is doing (5, Insightful)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 2 years ago | (#38654724)

I'm way more worried about a government which now has free reign to spy on my phone calls, emails, etc. with no warrants and even gives retroactive immunity [wikipedia.org] to protect the telco's from any nasty civil rights lawsuits over this than I am about Facebook sending me some targeted ads.

In short, a government that treats the 4th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution like a piece of toilet paper is a lot more important a concern than Mark Zuckerberg trying to make a quick buck.

Re:I'm more concerned about what CONGRESS is doing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38655272)

Exactly, Zuckerburg must be charging the Feds too much for access... he's already a private Billionaire... so far no live boys or dead girls are connected to him. The Feds already "buy" access to credit reporting bureaus and other information like shopping cards on the open market. Facebook must not have the Federal equipment installed yet.

Re:I'm more concerned about what CONGRESS is doing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38655878)

Ever notice that 'FaceBook Inc' has the initials FBI ??

Why would anyone. . . (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38654782)

. . .At this point, believe anything congress has to say? I hate Facebook, but come on. Congress cares about privacy? Give me a break. These guys have continually voted against privacy in the form of Patriot Acts, indefinite detention, warrantless wiretaps, etc. What is happening is Facebook just hasn't given the correct amount of "campaign contributions." When Facebook ponies up, you'll hear the tune change.

what ads (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38654816)

on FB? i don't think i've ever seen one... but then again, i use Adblock

Hosts R Us and smack down on FB and themz (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38654868)

Hate getting connected to fb no matter which website you go to? (Look at your recent history in your brwoser (for one) and notice you've got 5 or 6 different connections active to fb.)

# Copyright (c) 1993-1999 Microsoft Corp.
#
# This is a sample HOSTS file used by Microsoft TCP/IP for Windows.
#
# This file contains the mappings of IP addresses to host names. Each
# entry should be kept on an individual line. The IP address should
# be placed in the first column followed by the corresponding host name.
# The IP address and the host name should be separated by at least one
# space.
#
# Additionally, comments (such as these) may be inserted on individual
# lines or following the machine name denoted by a '#' symbol.
#
# For example:
#
# 102.54.94.97 rhino.acme.com # source server
# 38.25.63.10 x.acme.com # x client host
#

127.0.0.1 facebook.com
127.0.0.1 www.facebook.com
127.0.0.1 amazonaws.com
127.0.0.1 *.amazonaws.com

I don't recall if wildcarding works in this. Probably not. Feel free to improve this.

I'm a Windows user. I do what works well enough and stop.

Re:Hosts R Us and smack down on FB and themz (1)

DCTech (2545590) | more than 2 years ago | (#38655020)

Yes, because completely blocking whole amazon aws and facebook is such an awesome idea.

Re:Hosts R Us and smack down on FB and themz (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38655178)

I don't have a Facebook account and I don't use anything that ultilizes Amazon web services as far as I can tell. If I do use anything that utilizes AWS, it's not important enough for me to be able to tell. My friends and girlfriend have come to terms with the fact that they can't check to see how many of their friends are complaining about being fat on Facebook from my computers.

Re:Hosts R Us and smack down on FB and themz (1, Funny)

ILongForDarkness (1134931) | more than 2 years ago | (#38656004)

But you are missing out on all the cyber stalking possibilities. Want to know if that cute girl from high school is still cute? Often Facebook is the only way to find out ;-)

Turn off Third Party Cookies (1)

PAPPP (546666) | more than 2 years ago | (#38654938)

The best thing you can do about all this as an individual? TURN OFF THIRD-PARTY COOKIES. I've been browsing with third-party cookies disabled for the last six months, and am yet to find something I care about that doesn't work because I have them disabled. It protects your privacy and security, it eliminates various irritating bits of targeted advertising and the like, and most browsers have a "block third-party cookies" setting built in.

Re:Turn off Third Party Cookies (1)

Bill Dimm (463823) | more than 2 years ago | (#38655118)

Is that really sufficient to thwart tracking by the Facebook "like" button? I thought the button was in an iframe, so the cookies wouldn't be considered third-party.

Re:Turn off Third Party Cookies (1)

Bill Dimm (463823) | more than 2 years ago | (#38655554)

Please ignore the "I thought the button was in an iframe, so the cookies wouldn't be considered third-party." -- that was muddled.

But, it seems that Webkit-based browsers allow third-party cookies to be read but not written [grack.com] when third-party cookies are "disabled." Facebook can presumably read the cookie (if the browser allows reading) to see who you are, and read the referrer URL for the iframe to see what webpage you were viewing, so it seems they can track you if disabling third-party cookies doesn't prohibit reading them.

I is innocent (1)

Alien Being (18488) | more than 2 years ago | (#38655086)

It was the evil twins done put secret cookies in all my codes.

-mark

3rd-party cookies (3, Interesting)

MobyDisk (75490) | more than 2 years ago | (#38655128)

3rd-party cookies are a contributing factor to some of these privacy violations.

At what point did it become standard for browsers to accept 3rd-party cookies? The original cookie spec explicitly forbid them, and only reason that I know of to support them is to allow sites to track you across other domains. No web application, shopping cart, etc. should ever need to use them. Further, they seem like a terrible security flaw.

I was surprised to find that Firefox enables this by default, and some web forums (Engadget) are even complaining if you turn them off. I think we need to nip this in the bug, but I am curious when and why this default changed.

Re:3rd-party cookies (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 2 years ago | (#38655408)

At what point did it become standard for browsers to accept 3rd-party cookies? The original cookie spec explicitly forbid them, and only reason that I know of to support them is to allow sites to track you across other domains. No web application, shopping cart, etc. should ever need to use them. Further, they seem like a terrible security flaw.

Maybe browsers should have per-tab sandboxes for 3rd party cookies.
You close the tab, the cookie gets wiped.

Re:3rd-party cookies (1)

oldspicepuresport (1551767) | more than 2 years ago | (#38655610)

" No web application, shopping cart, etc. should ever need to use them."

And how would you suggest keeping state over a stateless connection? The other options (hidden fields, or a GUID in the URL) are at best no more secure than using a session cookie, in many cases they are far riskier to use.

Also, all modern browsers will only send a cookie to the same domain that set the cookie. Even if a facebook cookie is set on my browser, the browser will only send the cookie to the facebook domain... so unless there is an embedded facebook script on the page, your browser will absolutely not send facebook cookies to anyone.

Cookies are absolutely not the problem, the vast array of sites installing facebook tracking scripts on their pages is the problem.

Re:3rd-party cookies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38655736)

There should be no reason to keep a state when someone visits another site.

Re:3rd-party cookies (3, Informative)

wdef (1050680) | more than 2 years ago | (#38656522)

Cookies are absolutely not the problem, the vast array of sites installing facebook tracking scripts on their pages is the problem.

In which case, use http://www.ghostery.com/ [ghostery.com] to block trackers.

Re:3rd-party cookies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38655664)

What's even worse is that in order to disable 3rd party cookies I had to search google -- so one has to set the browsing history options to "custom" to disable this? Does this make any sense to anyone?

Thanks for the hint BTW, didn't know they had changed the default, and for long I've been tracked.

Re:3rd-party cookies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38660182)

Maybe browsers are following the "default to opt-in" strategy Facebook has pioneered. I am all for Facebook being a good citizen, but a "trust, but verify" policy is also good. One tool I can recommend is Ghostery [ghostery.com] .

From their website:

Ghostery tracks the trackers and gives you a roll-call of the ad networks, behavioral data providers, web publishers, and other companies interested in your activity.

Who's surprised? (2)

AtomicDevice (926814) | more than 2 years ago | (#38655176)

OF COURSE they track you to provide targeted ads, how else do you think they stay in business? Do you think they have a gigantic infrastructure just for your personal pleasure? While I fully support forcing facebook to divulge all the info they store on you (i.e. that gigantic PDF they'll send you on request), I also have no problem with them doing just about anything they want with data they collected. If you find that so incredibly repugnant, don't use facebook at all.

This story to me is about the same as the headline "Pfizer dodges questions from senator that it 'sells drugs' to what they call 'patients'"

Or perhaps "INTEL refuses to deny that it makes computer processors!"

Re:Who's surprised? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38657294)

The problem is that even if you don't use Facebook, they still build profiles on you and track you!

I can see it now.... (1)

kryliss (72493) | more than 2 years ago | (#38655212)

Joe Barton:- You can’t lie, so tell me Mark, where is this user?

Mark Zuckerberg:- Uh, hmm, well, uh, I don’t know where he’s not.

Joe Barton:- Your telling me, you don’t know where this user is?

Mark Zuckerberg:- It wouldn’t be inaccurate to assume that I couldn’t exactly not say that it is or isn’t almost partially incorrect.

Edward Markey:- So you do know where he is?

Mark Zuckerberg:- On the contrary. I’m possibly more or less not definitely rejecting the idea that in no way with any amount of uncertainty that I undeniably (Eward Markey tells him “Stop it!”) do or do not know where he shouldn’t probably be, if that indeed wasn’t where he isn’t. Even if he wasn’t at where I knew he was............

Am I the only one...? (1)

Synerg1y (2169962) | more than 2 years ago | (#38655596)

Who thinks these congressmen are so vigorous to get up off their asses cause they have something extremely incriminating to hide? (That facebook might have?)

Re:Am I the only one...? (1)

ILongForDarkness (1134931) | more than 2 years ago | (#38656042)

Wiener's schnitzel.

Re:Am I the only one...? (1)

CaptBubba (696284) | more than 2 years ago | (#38657984)

I've said for a few years now that we will get meaningful privacy legislation only after a couple of present or up-and-coming politicians get their careers torpedoed by a 15 year old facebook post. Even better would be someone buying usage data, linking it up to politicians, and running advertisements about the websites they visit.

Re:Am I the only one...? (1)

Tokolosh (1256448) | more than 2 years ago | (#38659192)

I am unlikely to hire or vote for anyone who been a perfect goody two-shoes his or her whole life. If I have to choose between two otherwise equally qualified candidates, I'm going to go with the one who is passed out with sharpie marks all over.

That's okay (1)

jdavidb (449077) | more than 2 years ago | (#38655750)

That's okay, anybody concerned about this can just not use Facebook. If they are really concerned, they could help the public and probably earn a bundle, too, by starting up a competitor that has better practices and expending their advertising funds educating the public as to why this is better.

Meanwhile, my concern is people like Barton and Markey, who keep taking my money against my will, and meddling in things like this, all the while claiming to "represent" me. Unfortunately this is not so easily solved as the Facebook problem, since the option to "just not use Congress" is not available to me, nor is the option to "just start a better one, and educate people with advertising so they will use yours and quit using the flawed one."

Pointless (1)

MitchDev (2526834) | more than 2 years ago | (#38655820)

Facebook is not "required" by anyone or anybody. It is purely voluntary. If you don't like what they are doing with what you post there or the information you provide them by using their FREE service, feel free to stop using it.

Re:Pointless (1)

ILongForDarkness (1134931) | more than 2 years ago | (#38656160)

Simply stopping to use the site doesn't help. They still can match your browsing to your old fb account to track you. A lot (hundreds of millions) of people had accounts before this scandal broke. Simply "don't use it any more" isn't going to work since the accounts continue to exist until you delete them and a company that is less than ethical in tracking you might very well delete all data that you entered into your account without deleting the info they got from their tracking cookies and some sort of identifier so they can keep targeting ads at you. My thing with facebook: I don't use it other than ~once a month when I'm trying to contact someone I haven't for a while and don't have contact info for. Which again deleting your account will not help with. It would be nice if you had a personal directory option similar to LinkedIn where you could just search the users profile pic and info page rather than needing a wall, having linked access to other sites etc. Not everyone is a professional acquaintance and you might not have any idea if it is a girl who that girl married (so what her name is now) what they studied and where etc so you can't easily use other sites.

Re:Pointless (1)

MitchDev (2526834) | more than 2 years ago | (#38659298)

Don't post stuff you don't want them to have...

Re:Pointless (1)

ILongForDarkness (1134931) | more than 2 years ago | (#38659440)

It's not just posting. Once they have your personal details and a cookie on your computer they get your "stuff you don't want them to have" by tracking you wherever you go. That is the problem. I might like Zebra porn but don't want Zebra porn ads showing up magically wherever I browse. Most people are not /. types either so they don't even have a clue they are being tracked.

no account (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38656114)

I am glad I never created a profile, and I never will.

What the hell? (1)

Apothem (1921856) | more than 2 years ago | (#38656358)

Why is it that our Congressmen are willing to criticize Facebook for privacy issues, but when it comes to SOPA, they just look the other way? Something is seriously wrong here.....

Joe Barton, BP Spokesman (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38656396)

Joe Barton, the guy who apologized to BP for how congress treated them during the Oil Spill? Anything that guy says is forever tainted by his slavish pandering to his corporate masters during a time of national crisis.

Privacy on Facebook (1)

Archangel Michael (180766) | more than 2 years ago | (#38656550)

NOTHING on Facebook is private. If you remember this, then you're okay. If you can't figure this out, then ... well ... too bad for you.

Re:Privacy on Facebook (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38660262)

NOTHING on the internet is private. If you remember this, then you're okay. If you can't figure this out, then ... well ... too bad for you.

Once it's on there, it's on there for good.

I guess the same thing that happened (1)

Stan92057 (737634) | more than 2 years ago | (#38656688)

I guess the same thing that happened to the phone telemarketers is going to have to happen with tracking web sites. They have clearly made it apparent they will not do anything until forced too.Well im all for that,how do we get it started? A law preventing tracking unless they ask first. We all have groceries store/Drug store saver cards. We allow them to track what we buy in exchange for lower prices. WOW thats a great Idea

Quid Pro Quo (1)

sfled (231432) | more than 2 years ago | (#38659504)

All other problems having been solved, two Congresscritters are shaking Facebook down. Folks, if you use a "free" service, then the product being sold is you. That's the QPQ.

congress (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38660260)

that is crazy. i don't care for SOPA. i think mashups and remixes would not even be possible with this. there are a multitude of things that it would hinder, including sharing, not thievery. sharing's platform as it exists today, would fundamentally change, i feel.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?
or Connect with...

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>