Facebook 'Bug' Prompts Lawmakers To Seek FTC Probe


Revelations this week that Facebook received data about users' Web-surfing activity, even when they were signed out of the service, prompted two lawmakers to complain to the Federal Trade Commission.

"When users log out of Facebook, they are under the expectation that Facebook is no longer monitoring their activities," Reps. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) and Joe Barton (R-Texas) wrote to the FTC on Wednesday. "We believe this impression should be the reality. Facebook users should not be tracked without their permission."

Markey and Barton, who co-chair a bipartisan privacy caucus in Congress, are asking the FTC to probe whether Facebook engaged in an unfair or deceptive trade practice.

Earlier this week, Australian developer Nik Cubrilovic wrote on his blog that Facebook received information about users whenever they visited sites with widgets, such as the "Like" button. Cubrilovic reported that the data is transmitted even when users are logged out of the social networking service.



"The only solution is to delete every Facebook cookie in your browser, or to use a separate browser for Facebook interaction," Cubrilovic wrote on Sunday.

Facebook acknowledged that it received data about logged-out users, but said it did not store that information. The company said on Tuesday that it had fixed the "bug" that allowed it to learn when logged-out users visited sites with the Like button and other widgets.


2 comments about "Facebook 'Bug' Prompts Lawmakers To Seek FTC Probe".
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  1. Carlson Yamamoto from ONLYMEWORLD, September 28, 2011 at 7:54 p.m.

    Facebook & Google+ Alternative Emerges: OnlyMeWorld — Gives Opinion On Time Line & Circles. On the surface both Time Line & Circles Seem Like A Technological & Socail Advancement In This Era Of Digital Communitions(Web 2.0)! By nature, we humans often follow the latest “Faux Pas”: Fashion, Sports, Social, etc., without thinking about the long term consequences. For those of you who don’t know the real issues surrounding privacy, facial recognition, data mining, etc., Social Networking Sites Collect Your Information Both “Knowingly” & “Unknowingly”, and sell it to advertisers, companies, etc., Big Deal Right?! Wrong, you should be concerned for yourself, children, and generations to come! We all have partied and made mistakes in our lives, we’re all human right?! But a whole new generation of teenagers faith will be predetermined before they’ve had a chance to start life, as their activities on Facebook & Google+ will come back to haunt them and you! Whether your looking at attending college, employment, credit, etc., what’s been put on the internet will be laid out for others to judge you! How serious can this get?! In the next decade, thanks to Facebook & Google+, there will only be a rich and poor class! The only solution today is to join a social networking site that’s for free, doesn’t have facial recognition software, no data mining, no web tracking, and doesn’t ask for your real name & email address. Is there such a site today…ONLYMEWORLD.

  2. Paula Lynn from Who Else Unlimited, September 29, 2011 at 10:36 a.m.

    How many people outside of MediaPost readers, et al, especially over 45, know what a cookie, browser or widget is ?

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