Facebook’s Beacon Flat Out Spyware

3 Dec

Facebook

Computer Associates is reporting that despite Facebook’s assurances that they will be more transparent in their logging and reporting issues, Facebook’s Beacon will report back to Facebook on members’ activities on third-party sites that participate in Beacon even if the users are logged off from Facebook.

“… investigation reveals that Beacon is more intrusive and stealthy than anyone had imagined. In his note, titled “Facebook’s Misrepresentation of Beacon’s Threat to Privacy: Tracking users who opt out or are not logged in,” he explains that he created an account on Conde Nast’s food site Epicurious.com, a site participating in Beacon, and saved three recipes as favorites. He saved the first recipe while logged in to Facebook, and he opted out of having it broadcast to his friends on Facebook. He saved the second recipe after closing the Facebook window, but without logging off from Epicurious or ending the browser session, and again declined broadcasting it to his friends. Then he logged out of Facebook and saved the third recipe. This time, no Facebook alert appeared asking if he wanted the information displayed to his friends.After checking his network traffic logs, Berteau saw that in all three cases, information about his activities was reported back to Facebook, although not to his friends. That information included where he was on Epicurious, the action he had just taken and his Facebook account name.” 

 http://www.pcworld.com/article/id,140182-c,onlineprivacy/article.html

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