Facebook sued over tracking users after log-out

Facebook is getting more heat over two controversial practices — tracking users after they log out and new automatic "frictionless sharing".

(Magnifying glass image by Heptagon, CC BY-SA 2.0; CBSi)

The tracking, done with cookies on users' computers, has prompted criticism from lawmakers and now a lawsuit, while privacy groups and regulators in Ireland are concerned about a new sharing feature that automatically posts user activities to newsfeeds without users intentionally doing so.

Blogger Nic Cubrilovic wrote that he discovered that his web surfing was being tracked by Facebook even after he logged out. Facebook admitted that it personalises content by putting cookie files on user computers that remain even when users are logged out, but told CNET that it quickly acted to remove uniquely identifying data from post-logout cookies and that it did not store or use that cookie data for tracking.

"This admission came only after an Australian technology blogger exposed Facebook's practice of monitoring members who have logged out, although he brought the problems to the defendant's attention a year ago," according to the complaint filed in federal court in San Jose, California, and reported on by Bloomberg.

The lawsuit was filed by Perrin Aikens Davis of Illinois and it seeks class-action status. It seeks unspecified damages and asks the court to block the tracking based on alleged violations of federal wiretapping, computer fraud and abuse laws, according to the report.

"We believe this complaint is without merit and we will fight it vigorously," Facebook spokesperson Andrew Noyes told CNET in an emailed statement.

Also today, the Irish data protection commissioner plans to investigate Facebook's privacy-related activities following complaints by privacy groups in Europe and the US, according to a Reuters report.

It was a rough week for the company. On Thursday a collection of advocacy groups asked the US Federal Trade Commission to ban Facebook's "frictionless sharing" and new Timeline features announced at F8. On Wednesday, two US congressmen asked the FTC to investigate Facebook over the post logout cookies. And a Chicago company has filed a trademark infringement lawsuit against Facebook over the Timeline feature.

Via CNET



Add Your Comment 5


Post comment as
 

ega posted a comment   

I Need the doctor

 

wawan khan posted a comment   

hemmm

 

Ubmirin me posted a comment   

I eat all my cookies, they taste great

 

DanielK posted a comment   

everyone might as well sue them seeing as we are all involved!

 

Kourosh_au posted a comment   
Australia

I clean my cookies and Internet temp files using the freeware Ccleaner before shutting down my PC. This should remove the mentioned cookies as well.
Thought cookies are text files and scripts could run in the background not cookies.




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