Friday, September 30, 2011

Facebook tracking prompts calls for FTC investigation (tracks you even when logged off)

Facebook tracking prompts calls for FTC investigation (tracks you even when logged off):

Facebook’s use of software that enables it to track users’ online activity after they log off of the social-networking site came under scrutiny in Washington this week, with lawmakers and consumer advocacy groups demanding a federal investigation.

In a letter to the Federal Trade Commission, Reps. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) and Joe Barton (R-Tex.) wrote that Facebook’s use of “cookie” software should be investigated under the “unfair and deceptive acts” clause of the agency’s mandate.

“When people log out of Facebook, they are under the expectation that Facebook is no longer monitoring their activities,” wrote the congressmen, who chair the bipartisan Congressional Privacy Caucus. “We believe this impression should be the reality.”

On Thursday, the Electronic Privacy Information Center and nine other consumer and privacy groups made a similar request, voicing concerns about whether the company’s privacy policies cover new Facebook features that highlight user information on profiles and put real-time activity in the spotlight.

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