Should Facebook and Others Be Able to Track Non-Users?

Should Facebook and Others Be Able to Track Non-Users?

It’s an accepted reality for the most part. If we want to use an app or website, we’ve gotten used to the idea that it means it will be tracking our use. But what if we don’t even use that app or website? Should Facebook and others be able to track non-users?

That’s right. Even if you’ve avoided using Facebook either because you have no desire to share your personal life with others or even if you decided long ago that you didn’t want to be tracked, the social network is still tracking you.

Facebook admitted this recently when they said they were “expanding Audience Network so publishers and developers can show better ads to everyone – including those who don’t use or aren’t connected to Facebook.”

Instead of just targeting ads at the users of Facebook, they’re going beyond that and tracking what you do in the online space in order to do so. Outside of Google, it’s the second largest mobile ad network.

And that’s exactly what happens every time you hit “Like,” and you expect that. But it’s also taking that same type of data from the websites you visit and the ads you click and applying that as well to create ads that will target your specific use of the Internet.

But is this right? Should a social network you don’t even use be able to track your activity online? It’s bad enough that Google does it, but what about a social network?

Laura Tucker Laura Tucker

Laura has spent nearly 20 years writing news, reviews, and op-eds, with more than 10 of those years as an editor as well. She has exclusively used Apple products for the past three decades. In addition to writing and editing at MTE, she also runs the site's sponsored review program.



    If sites want to provide more directly targeted ads to users, that should be on a OPT-IN basis.
    If sites want to track users just to collect data that they will sell, that should be against the law.

    Unforunately, tracking is so ingrained into the fabric of the Internet that it will never be abolished.

  2. Facebook is a lot like Nazi Germany. They do what they want and ethics are not in their charter.
    I personally avoid FB as most of what is see on other people’s sites is raw sewage. Verbal diarrhea is the norm. I tell my family to just email me and share pictures with cloud apps. no need for a blog, but if ever want that I will use wordpress or another site. Beyond the poor content which is not FB’s concern, I cannot stand the company and will NEVER use anything from them. So if I suspected any ad as coming from them, I would make it my point to ignore it. I ignore ads in general anyway, as they seem targeted to some other demographic. Any purchase I make is reviewed by consumer reports and price shopping. Tracking generally causes you to pay higher prices for things. I have all history deleted at exit and only use browsers that allow such. So Edge is out and who in their right mind would trust Chrome? Google states there is no privacy, as does FB. Does this not sound like a Hitler statement? I also block both of these big brother companies using the hosts file. So every time a site tries to re-direct me through them, I get a dead link.
    I then use another approach, as I will not work with any site that so sneakily re-directs you. I am hoping one of these days the American public will wake up as Europe has done. This is just wrong or more clearly -evil.

    1. Whether you like it or not, whether you know it or not, Facebook is tracking you and collecting data on you. There is nothing you can do about it.

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