Facebook “accidentally” tracked people who don’t even have accounts

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Don’t you just hate it when a “bug” causes you to violate people’s privacy by tracking them even when they don’t even use your service? Facebook certainly does. At least, that’s what the company is saying in response to accusations of privacy violations in Europe when this “bug” caused the company to use cookies to track people, even those who don’t have a Facebook account. 

Facebook Inc. pushed back on Thursday against some accusations from Belgian scholars that the social network trampled over its users’ privacy rights – but admitted that the academics found a “bug” that mistakenly tracked people even while they weren’t on Facebook’s website. The company said it has started to fix the problem, which used “cookies” – or code stored in people’s web browsers – to track people who hadn’t signed up for Facebook when they visited websites that integrated certain Facebook technology. But Richard Allan, the company’s European policy chief, said in a blog post that the group of Belgian academics reached the wrong conclusions. “The report gets it wrong multiple times in asserting how Facebook uses information to provide our service to more than a billion people around the world,” he said.

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