Congress takes a look at jackin’ and trackin’ at Facebook
Representative Mary Bono Mack (R-CA) is asking members of her staff to meet with Facebook executives next week to get some answers on how a recent outbreak of clickjacking occurred and what’s being done to stop things like that in the future. As you’ll recall from yesterday’s memo, a bunch of links to hard core porn and pictures of dead animals made their way around the social networking site as users were lured in by provocative headlines and made to unwittingly repost those same links on their own site. Facebook says it’s investigating and has shut down the operation for the most part. Still, Bono Mack wants some answers although I can’t see why she’s just sending staff instead of getting answers directly. Maybe she’s busy.
Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-WV), who is to privacy issues as Tony Hawk is to skateboards, said Wednesday that the Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee he chairs will hold a hearing on reports that Facebook tracks users online even after they log out of Facebook. It’s kind of an older story but I guess it’s back.
Facebook has acknowledged that it collects some data from users even after they log out of their accounts. For example, the company is notified when users visit websites that feature its "Like" button, even if the users are not signed in.
Facebook spokesman Andrew Noyes said that Facebook deletes account-specific cookies, or tracking files, when a person logs out of their account. The cookies that remain on a person's computer are used for safety and protection, such as identifying spammers or helping users log back into their account if it has been hacked, he said. He emphasized that Facebook does not sell its users' information to third parties.