Facebook Tracks People Without Accounts

    26 Apr 2010, Straubing, Germany --- The shadows of youth using Facebook in Straubing, Germany, 26 April 2010. Facebook unveiled a new messaging system on 15 November 2010 that will allow users to see all their various message feeds in one location and which ups the rivalry between the social networking site and Google. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg described the service as 'modern messaging' and said it would combine email, instant messages, Facebook messages and SMS, as well as giving Facebook's 500 million members their own "@Facebook.com" email addresses. The initial deployment started Monday for US members and will gradually rollout to all Facebook members over the course of a few months. Photo:†Armin Weigel --- Image by © Armin Weigel/dpa/Corbis

    Armin Weigel, DPA / Corbis

    Logged in or not, Facebook tracks you across the Web. The company went into detail about its procedure for tracking users, explaining that when someone visits a Facebook.com site—even if they don't have an account—the company puts a cookie on their browser that records the date, time, and address of every site they visit that has a Facebook “like” button or plug-in. In addition to which websites you visit when, the cookie records unique characteristics of your computer, like your IP address and operating system. If you're logged into your Facebook account, the company puts a second cookie on your computer that records your name, email address, friends, and other information. Facebook says it uses the data only to improve usability and security, and that the information is deleted after 90 days.

    Read it at USA Today