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Update: Now Facebook Collects Data On Your Cursor

by Jane Susskind, published

Earlier this month, Facebook removed the option to keep your profile private from search. Soon after, the company announced it would be opening up the option to post publicly to teenagers aged 13-17.

So news that Facebook is now contemplating collecting data on cursor movement shouldn't come as a surprise. When compared to the types of behavioral data already being collected (and sold) by the company, this new stunt seems trivial.

New types of data Facebook is considering collecting include "did your cursor hover over that ad … and was the newsfeed in a viewable area,” Facebook analytics chief Ken Rudin told the Wall Street Journal. “It is a never-ending phase. I can’t promise that it will roll out. We probably will know in a couple of months,” he continued.

Currently, Facebook actively collects demographic data, like where you live, and behavioral data, like how you interact with your friends. Facebook's data collection goes so far as to catalog your interaction with your friends in the real world through facial recognition.

If Facebook is already collecting a mountain of information on each of its users, why would it need to monitor where our cursors hover? As with most of Facebook's privacy, the answer is simple: money.

It serves Facebook to know where on the site our cursors gravitate in order to better target advertisements. Facebook has not yet finalized whether or not it will fully integrate this practice into their business.

In January, Facebook released Graph search, a function designed to allow users to tap into the vast amount of user information to search for specific results among friends based on specific criteria.  to read more. In September, Facebook announced it will be updating two key documents governing online privacy on the site: the Data Use Policy and Statement of Rights and Responsibilities.

But at what cost to our privacy? Click

"What this means is that Facebook can gather information about you not only based on information that you choose to share, but by scanning posts that your friends choose to share on the network. Facebook is essentially building the capacity to build an internal profile of any given user — without their consent."

 to learn how to edit your settings. "Knowing the value of their database, Facebook recently partnered with Datalogix, "a company that collects purchasing data from around 70 million U.S. households drawn from loyalty cards and other sources."


The partnership offers companies targeted ads in mobile apps or on mobile websites based on what is known about that user by Facebook. In conjunction, the companies can now track user tendencies in purchasing items advertised to them on Facebook.

The partnership has raised concern among privacy advocates, who worry the new practice violates the Federal Trade Commission regulations."

 to Read More.


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