How Facebook follows your every online move

210-facebook_dislike_butonA colleague shared a blog post with me today that shows how Facebook can collect data about your online movements, even if you don’t click a ‘Like’ button or log in to Facebook. It’s a scary scenario, but one that may be being played out right now on your computer.

Of course, we should also understand that the Facebook Privacy Policy clearly states that by signing in and accepting a Facebook cookie we give consent to their receiving information about our online activities at third party sites:

Whenever you connect with a Platform application or website, we will receive information from them, including information about actions you take. In some cases, in order to personalize the process of connecting, we may receive a limited amount of information even before you connect with the application or website.

I’m often asked what’s the best way to protect your personal data when using Facebook and other social networking tools. The only 100% safe way is not to use these sites. Ever. However, if you do wish to use them, as do millions of others around the world, make sure you’re happy with your privacy settings and understand exactly what you’re signing up to before you click ‘I agree’.

It’s a value exchange; you hand over information about you in exchange for social networking with your friends. So ask yourself, are you getting more out of the deal than the social networking site is taking?

Here’s the full blog post from Microsoft’s ‘The Other James Brown’: