(BOB TUSKIN) An Australian technologist has caused a global stir after discovering Facebook tracks the websites its users visit even when they are logged out of the social networking site.
Separately, Facebook’s new Timeline feature, launched last week, has been inadvertently accessed by users early, revealing a feature that allows people to see who removed them from their friends lists.
Facebook’s changes – which turn profiles into a chronological scrapbook of the user’s life – are designed to let its 800 million members share what they are reading, listening to or watching in real-time. But they have been met with alarm by some who fear over-sharing.
Of course, Facebook’s bottom line improves the more users decide to share. Reports suggest that Facebook staff refer internally to “Zuck’s law“, which describes Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg’s belief that every year people share twice as much online – a trend that has seen Facebook’s valuation skyrocket towards $ US100 billion.
In alarming new revelations, Wollongong-based Nik Cubrilovic conducted tests which revealed that when you log out of Facebook, rather than deleting its tracking cookies the site merely modifies them, maintaining account information and other unique tokens that can be used to identify you.