Will Facebook Face An FTC Investigation?
September 30, 2011 at 3:55 AM (PT)
On WEDNESDAY (NET NEWS 9/28), ALL ACCESS reported about privacy issues with the new FACEBOOK. Less than a week after MARK ZUCKERBERG introduced the new FACEBOOK look, media and blog world reactions have ranged from legitimate concern for a lack of privacy to near-paranoia. The implications for radio and the music business are deep.
Now, CNET reports, "Two U.S. congressmen have asked the FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION to investigate FACEBOOK's practice of tracking users even after they have logged out."
"When users log out of FACEBOOK, they are under the expectation that FACEBOOK is no longer monitoring their activities. We believe this impression should be the reality. FACEBOOK users should not be tracked without their permission," said the letter sent by EDWARD MARKEY (D-MA) and JOE BARTON (R-TX). "FACEBOOK was able to obtain this information when users visited websites that connect with FACEBOOK, including websites with 'Like' buttons," the letter said. "There are an estimated 905,000 sites that contain the 'Like' button."
A FACEBOOK spokesperson told CNET, "The company did not store or use any information it should not have."
"There was no security or privacy breach. FACEBOOK did not store or use any information it should not have," FACEBOOK Manager/Public Policy Communications ANDREW NOYES said in an e-mail. "Like every site on the Internet that personalizes content and tries to provide a secure experience for users, we place cookies on the computer of the user," he wrote. "Three of these cookies on some users' computers inadvertently included unique identifiers when the user had logged out of Facebook. However, we did not store these identifiers for logged out users. Therefore, we could not have used this information for tracking or any other purpose."