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8/28/2014 at 1:41:37 PM GMT
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Facebook Web Tracking

Caution: Facebook Will Track Your Web Activity Outside of Facebook

ZDNet reported in June on another change in Facebook's privacy and advertising policies which is sure to infuriate users and cause security risks for lawyers. The change allows Facebook to track users outside of Facebook in contravention of previous assurances that it "does not track users across the web."

Facebook logoFacebook confirmed this and said it will begin tracking its users' browsing and activities on websites and apps outside Facebook, starting (lucky us, in America) within a few weeks. Facebook said it will begin to disregard its users' choice of using their in-browser "Do Not Track" setting. Soon, anyone who clicks "ask websites not to track me" in Safari (or any other browser) will be completely ignored by Facebook.

Facebook's announcement said that users can easily opt-out of this tracking -- but the opt-out process is on an external website (the Digital Advertising Alliance), it must be done for each browser, and the opt-out must be re-done every time a user clears out their browser's cookies. Are you KIDDING?

And where is the Federal Trade Commission in all this? It appears to have approved the change, making its "regulation" of Facebook an utter farce. Lawyers, beware of any online activity that might compromise client data!

Sharon D. Nelson, Esq., is the president of Sensei Enterprises, Inc, a digital forensics, information security and information technology firm in Fairfax. She is the author of the noted electronic evidence blog Ride the Lightning and is a co-host of the ABA podcast series “The Digital Edge: Lawyers and Technology.” She is a frequent author and speaker on legal technology, information security and electronic evidence topics. She served as president of the Virginia State Bar in 2013-2014.

Last edited Thursday, August 28, 2014
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