Facebook Addresses User Tracking Issue

Just two days ago, I posted an article highlighting how Facebook tracks you regardless of login status. Following this discovery, Facebook has come out publicly and denied that it tracks users after they logged out. Apparently the PR move was not enough to quell the concerns of the interweb users, so Facebook has now updated their logout logic to also delete the cookie containing the user’s unique ID.

As before, Nik Cubrilovic does an excellent job documenting the changes, as well as what the existing Facebook cookies are used for. If you feel the need to dig deeper (not a bad idea), give his newest article “Facebook Fixes Logout Issue, Explains Cookies” a read.

Spotify Now Requires Facebook Account

New Spotify users will now require a Facebook account to join. From Get Satisfaction’s Spotify page:

Hey Guys thanks for your question, Unfortunately you will need a Facebook account to access Spotify from now on, unless you already have an account set up.

This does not stop you creating the Facebook account adding nothing to it and making it totally private as the Facebook account does not have to be actively used.

Makes me wonder if this was a condition to allow Spotify to integrate with the new Facebook features.

There’s always Rdio for those against having any association with Facebook.

Facebook Tracks You Regardless of Login Status

It appears Facebook continues tracking users outside of its site, regardless of their login status. According to Nik Cubrilovic, Facebook leaves a cookie on your computer, even after you log out. This allows them to track where you go, so long as the external website has a Facebook “Share” or “Like” button on it.

This really should come as no surprise, considering the user is actually the product. What better way to determine what should be marketed to you than to capture as much of your web browsing history as possible.

You do have a couple of options to ensure this doesn’t happen to you:

  • Don’t use Facebook
  • Manually clear your cookies after logging out of Facebook

For the privacy-sensitive users, there are some third-party solutions to help you manage your cookies more intelligently. If you are a Mac user, I would recommend Cookie from SweetP Productions. This helps you manage your browser cookies, Flash cookies and databases for Safari, WebKit, Chrome, Chromium, Camino and Firefox from a single interface. If $14.99 is too much, you can give their free Safari Cookies plugin a try. I use the latter, and I couldn’t imagine browsing without it.

In addition to privacy concerns, I also wonder how this would impact users on a shared computer. I could only imagine how siblings’ Facebook accounts would start to blur from a web browsing history perspective.

Motorola EX225: Possibly the Next Facebook Phone

Motorola EX225

If the rumors are true, Motorola’s EX225 could be the next phone to sport a dedicated Facebook button.

Two things come to mind:

  • How successful has the HTC Status been for AT&T?
  • With Google’s recent acquisition of Motorola Mobility, how long before this becomes a Google+ button?

I guess I’ll just have to wait and see…

HTC Status :: Expired

HTC Status

You may have seen the AT&T commercials lately advertising the new HTC Status, the first phone with a Facebook share button. Yes, that’s right, a button solely for Facebook. For only $49.99 and a two-year contract, you too could have the luxury of a dedicated Facebook button on your phone.

Two-years. Talk about commitment. Who knows where Facebook will be in two-years. With Google+ adding 20-million users in just three-weeks, is it far too soon to wonder if today’s Facebook could become tomorrow’s MySpace?

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