Facebook Sued for Tracking Users’ Browsing History Even When Not Logged In
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Facebook is being sued over its using its ability to track Facebook users’ Internet browsing history even while they are logged out of Facebook. The Facebook lawsuit, filed in Federal court in Mississippi on October 12th against Facebook, Brooke Rutledge claims that, among other things Facebook is in direct violation of U.S. Wiretapping laws. But perhaps more to the point, it is in violation of treating its users with common decency, following them with Facebook super cookies and the like. The complaint also seeks to turn the lawsuit into a class action, so others can join the law suit.

Says Rutledge’s complaint, “Leading up to September 23, 2011, Facebook tracked, collected, and stored its users’ wire or electronic communications, including but not limited to portions of their internet browsing history even when the users were not logged-in to Facebook. Plaintiff did not give consent or otherwise authorize Facebook to intercept, track, collect, and store her wire or electronic communications, including but not limited to her internet browsing history when not logged-in to Facebook.”


In addition, the complaint states that this is a violation of Facebook’s own stated privacy policy, which says in part that “If you’re logged out or don’t have a Facebook account and visit a website with the Like button or another social plugin, your browser sends us a more limited set of information. For example, because you’re not logged in to Facebook, we don’t receive your User ID.

This all came to the fore when blogger Nic Cubrilovic did some forensics on his own Facebook use and subsequent browsing, and discovered the following: “With my browser logged out of Facebook, whenever I visit any page with a Facebook like button, or share button, or any other widget, the information, including my account ID, is still being sent to Facebook. The only solution to Facebook not knowing who you are is to delete all Facebook cookies.”

“Even when you are logged out, Facebook still knows and can track every page you visit,” said Cubrilovic.

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In response, Facebook claims that at least some of the cookies that Cubrilovic was talking about were there to thwart spam and other malicious acts, and that not all of the cookied data sent back to Facebook is actually tracked.

Facebook has yet to respond to the lawsuit.

No Paywall Here!
The Internet Patrol is and always has been free. We don't hide our articles behind a paywall, or restrict the number of articles you can read in a month if you don't give us money. That said, it does cost us money to run the site, so if something you read here was helpful or useful, won't you consider donating something to help keep the Internet Patrol free?
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