Here is Exactly What Facebook’s New System is Sharing About You, and Where and How They Are Doing It

The Internet Patrol - Patrolling the Internet for You

 

We take Facebook safety seriously. A few days ago in one of our articles on Facebook we told you about Facebook’s new open social graph and Facebook applications that allow Facebook to follow you around from site to site, sharing what you are doing, and how to opt out of it doing so – that is just one of the many Facebook risks you can read about here. (On an interesting sidenote, in researching this article we found that many people search for Facebook info and never find it because they misspell “Facebook” in a number of ways, including Facebok, Faceboo, Acebook, Fcebook, Fcebook, Faebook, Fasebook, Faccebook, Facebbook, Faacebook, Faecbook, Faceebook, Fcaebook, Facebookk, Facebooks, Ffacebook, Facebood, Facerbook, Faceboock, and our personal favorite, Fecebook. Who knew there were so many ways to misspell ‘Facebook’?)

Now, to show you exactly what we are talking about, here is a screenshot of one of the many sites which has sprung up and is aggregating all of that information about you, and displaying it to any of your Facebook friends who visit their site. In the screenshot below, of course, it is displaying the activities of our friends, as it was us who was visiting the site that is publishing the information they are getting from Facebook. Information about you.

Take a good look at all of the different sites that are allowing Facebook to follow you on their site, so that Facebook can report on your activity on those sites. We have highlighted the site names for you, and they include YouTube, CNN, Huffington Post, Tech Crunch, Pandora, the New York Times, Yelp, TED, Hulu, Engadget, and many, many more.


If you are connected to “Anne P. Mitchell” on Facebook, do you see yourself in any of these updates? Because there’s a good chance that you may – how do you feel about that? (Note that we have blotted out the pictures, and the names, so that you’ll have to look hard – but even if you aren’t sure if you’re in there from the timing and activity – trust us, if you are on Facebook, and haven’t blocked these applications, you will be ‘featured’ just like this.)

Make no mistake, this is not our doing – this is what Facebook is sharing on any site running their new social graph widgets, and they customize it by displaying the Facebook friends of whatever Facebook user is visiting that particular website. How can they do that? They can do it because the user is still logged into Facebook too, and so they know who their friends are and which friends to show to the site visitor.

To show you exactly how this works, look further, below the first screenshot, where you will see a screenshot of the same site, only when we are not logged into Facebook (in which case it just grabs any random persons’ public Facebook updates as filler).

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Now here’s what this third-party site (not Facebook) looks like when we log out of Facebook:

 

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Now, even creepier is that anybody with a website can publish these. To prove our point, look over at the sidebar on the right, here on The Internet Patrol. What do you see? To really understand how this works, look at that “Recent Activity” box under “What People are Sharing” that’s to the right of this article. If you are currently logged into Facebook (meaning you have not affirmatively logged out of Facebook), you should see the recent activity of your friends.

Now go to the top or bottom of this article, hit the Facebook “Like” button, and refresh the page. Do you see yourself in that column on the right now?

Now in another browser window go to Facebook and log out, and then refresh this page here. Now what do you see there? (If you weren’t logged into Facebook when you first read this, then in that other browser window log into Facebook, and then refresh this page here. Creepy, huh?)

As we said, anybody with a website can do this. You just have to go here on Facebook and get the code.

What is the lesson here?

If you don’t want Facebook + world + dog tracking your every move, remember to log out of Facebook whenever you are done using it.

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?
Click for amount options
Other Amount:
What info did you find here today?:

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