According to a WSJ report, Facebook intends to leverage its Facebook Connect app to track which applications users have installed on their Smartphones. This data will then be used to serve targeted ads to the user’s News Feed.
Facebook engineers have devised a way to ascertain which applications users have installed on their Smartphones. And, it looks like Facebook will seize this opportunity to serve ads based on this data.
It is estimated that almost half of Facebook’s global users access the social media site using Smartphones. While this presents a huge advertising base, Facebook has not had many options to capitalize on this space. However, that is about to change with the new strategy, which according to insiders is set to go live early next month. As can be expected, various consumer privacy protection organizations have raised concerns over what they deem to be invasion of personal privacy. One organization that has expressed its displeasure with Facebook’s plans is the Center for Democracy and Technology’s project on consumer privacy, through its director Mr. Justin Brookman.
We have written previously on how Facebook Connect can track users even while they aren’t on the social networking site. For privacy conscious users, their are a couple of options available to bypass this tracking mechanism:
- Use a dedicated browser just for Facebook, and surf other sites in an entirely different one.
- Always sign out of Facebook when you are browsing other sites. (this has other privacy and security benefits as well.)
- Consider using a VPN and browser extensions that keep you from being tracked. Private Wifi and Do Not Track+ are both sponsors of Facecrooks, and they each provide tools to protect your privacy online.
BitDefender Safego is a Facebook application you can install that will scan your News Feed and help keep you safe from scams on Facebook.
PRIVATE WiFi® is a Personal VPN that encrypts everything you send and receive. Don’t access Facebook from a public WiFi hotspot without it.
Do Not Track + is a FREE browser plugin created by Abine. This easy to install plugin keeps websites from tracking you. If you value your online privacy, then you should definitely take advantage of this free product.
Action Alert | Free Parental Control offers a 100% free Internet safety solution designed for parents. There is also a Maximum Protection option for parents that need a more advanced set of tools.