This article was published on September 27, 2011

Facebook confirms ‘Like’ data collection, will fix three cookie-related issues within 24 hours

Facebook confirms ‘Like’ data collection, will fix three cookie-related issues within 24 hours

Facebook has confirmed that the way it collects information from its users may result in the transmission of user data from third-party websites, even when they are logged out, but has asked for users to trust the company and will fix a total of three cookie-related issues within the next 24 hours.

The social networking giant came under fire after Australian technology researchers Nik Cubrilovic published findings showing that identifying information was being sent from “Like” buttons when users were not logged in, calling upon Facebook to explain whether it was using the information to target advertising or track its users when outside of the site.

Whilst the data was being collected, The Wall Street Journal explains the process and what happens with the data when it is sent to Facebook’s servers:

Facebook acknowledges that it gets that data but says it deletes it right away. The company says the data is sent because of the way the “Like” button system is set up; any cookies that are associated with will automatically get sent when you view a “Like” button.

“The onus is on us is to take all the data and scrub it,” said Arturo Bejar, a Facebook director of engineering. “What really matters is what we say as a company and back it up.”

In a statement, a Facebook spokesman said “no information we receive when you see a social plugin is used to target ads.”

US-based Facebook engineers contacted Cubrilovic via telephone, discussing the issues in a forty minute conference call this morning.

The Australian researcher told Smarthouse that Facebook “[aims] to fix the issue by tomorrow,” adding that “there will still be cookies but they won’t be identifiable”, also confirming that the company will address three other cookie-related issues at the same time.

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