18 November 2011

Facebook Reveals Privacy Tracking Data

Finally for the first time Facebook Reveals its Privacy Tracking Data
Image via Allfacebook.com
With the facebook cyberattack last couple of weeks with porns and disturbing images. I will share some thoughts about it. The 800 Millions of users got assaulted of flooding of porns and violent images that their friends recommend or like (in which ive seen in my wall, i tempted to click and visit it).Other websites claiming that these attacks were primarily made by Anonymous hacker group that on last August 2011, one of the members announced that they attack facebook on November 5 with a virus, dubbed as "Fawkes" in honor of Guy Fawkes an anti-hero from the movie V for Vendetta. 

So how we cope and protect it?Some think they low security on their profile and they shall upgrade their browsing http to secure https. I guess if you don't click those video there's no flooding will occur. Enough with those things, we will now focus on Privacy tracking data.

In that issue, for the first time, Facebook finally reveals its privacy tracking data. I think i shall have to summarize the details here. The main actor of this is COOKIES, though its yummy to read but it has big impact with the user privacy. Through cookies facebook will identify accounts that are fake and protect us from them who send viral links.

According to Arturo Bejar, Facebook Engineering Director, they used COOKIE TECHNOLOGY to track us  and compiles it for over 90 days log of the websites we visited.
  • When we are logged in
When creating an facebook account, facebook insert a Browser Cookie and Session Cookie into our web browser.  When logging in, session cookie is activated. This session cookie tracks and logs our:

1.  User Profile Data - name, email address, list of friends, user preferences 
2. Unique data - IP address, Browser version, OS, and other PC information
3. Timestamp - URL, time and date in each visit
  • When we are logged out
When we are logged out, the browser cookie activates and it is alphanumeric. It tracks and logs our: 
1. AlphaNumeric - No personal information is retrieved and it is unique.
2. Unique data - IP address, Browser version, OS, and other PC information
3. Timestamp - URL, time and date in each visit
  • Uses of Tracking data
1. Boost Security - facebook will know about fake accounts and protect us from viral infection.
2. User Experience - Improved display and usability of the 3rd party plugins like 
3. Generate ad revenue - direct to members attention based on profile information.

Facebook keeps logs record for past 90 days of activity. It deletes entries older than 90 days. Is it really secured? How we able to keep our privacy?



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