The recent slew of data and privacy controversies plaguing Facebook have resulted in a positive, unintended effect for users: we know far more about how Facebook operates than we ever have before. One of those eye-opening disclosures came again this week, when Facebook Head of Public Policy Rebecca Stimson told the U.K. Parliament that Facebook tracks users on over 8.4 million websites.
Facebook is able to follow your behavior around the web by using Like and Share buttons, plus its ubiquitous log-in feature. That means if you’ve used Facebook’s tools in any way on these many websites, they can see what you’re doing. For its part, Facebook was quick to point out that they’re far from the only website to creepily track users like this.
“Many companies offer these types of services and, like Facebook, they also get information from the apps and sites that use them,” Facebook said in its defense, according to The Outline. “Amazon, Google and Twitter all offer login features. These companies — and many others — also offer advertising services. In fact, most websites and apps send the same information to multiple companies each time you visit them.”
This isn’t exactly a good self-defense tactic for Facebook to take; pointing fingers and saying “they do it too” won’t make anyone more comfortable with the idea that Facebook is watching what they do online.