Mozilla Partners With The MarkUp To Research Facebook's Data-Tracking Practices For Non-Users

For those who do not have a Facebook account, no worries -- Facebook's partners still track your movement from one website to another and share the data with the company.

Mozilla's data-sharing platform, Rally, and The MarkUp, a nonprofit newsroom that investigates how technology influences society, have formed a partnership to look into how Facebook tracks people even when they’re not using any of the platforms owned by the social network's parent company, Meta.

The Rally Firefox browser add-on allows users to donate data to studies designed to investigate how companies use the internet.

Facebook’s privacy policy states that it may collect information about people across the web even if they don’t have a Facebook account. It uses a network of pixels that may be installed on many other sites people visit.

Facebook states that third-party websites and apps may choose to share information with Meta from cookies set in their own websites' domains, whether or not the person has a Facebook account or is logged in.



“Cookies named _fbc or _fbp may be set on the domain of the business partner whose site you're visiting,” states Facebook’s privacy policy. “Unlike cookies that are set on Meta's own domains, these cookies aren’t accessible by Meta when you're on a site other than the one on which they were set, including when you are on one of our domains. They serve the same purposes as cookies set in Meta's own domain, which are to personalize content (including ads), measure ads, produce analytics and provide a safer experience, as set out in this Cookies Policy.”

Mozilla’s study will delve into how Facebook’s tracking infrastructure collects data about people online, data used to target ads, tailor content recommendations, and sometimes spread misinformation by browsing the web. The two companies will use Rally’s tools to research how it’s done.

Data collected includes:

  • The data sent to Facebook pixels browsed
  • The URLs of the web pages browsed
  • The time spent browsing pages
  • The presence of Facebook login cookies in the browser
  • A study survey that the user completes

Mozilla invites people to take part in the research by downloading Firefox and opting into The Facebook Pixel Hunt study.




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