… So, even that I did not press the Like button, I have already sent Facebook my user-name. So that they’ll show me who of my friends liked this piece… Using this information, Facebook can tell exactly who of their users visited any Like-embedded page…
I checked my browsing history a couple of days ago. More than 90% of the pages I browsed – had Facebook’s Like button in them. I’m pretty sure much of the Internet population feels like this lately.
What I didn’t realize, was the depth of analytics Facebook is gathering nowa days, well beyond anything possible before. Facebook do not share this information with website owners, not to mention the site visitors (= us), and it is gathered in a somewhat obscure way.
Assuming that I’m a website owner (whether I’m Joe Shmoe or Ted Turner), I have access to some very good metrics using simple tools like Google Analytics:
Still, even as a site owner, the information I have access to – is quite anonymous. IP addresses can give me a hint about the location of my visitors. I can see my visitor’s search queries from Google, and analyze trends to optimize advertising campaigns.
I don’t quite know who exactly my visitors are.
As a surfer – I did not opt-in for this, and to “opt-out” – I have to log-out from Facebook all the time.
As a website owner – I get from Facebook only limited analytics about the people who Liked my pages. And I did not realize how much information I gave Facebook by embedding that Like button…
Facebook – can now get a Very detailed view about the visitors of any “Like-embedded” page – whether those visitors “Liked” that page or not.
They show us who of our friends already liked this page that we’re currently looking at.
To do this, they obviously have to know who we are, right?
So, even that I did not press the Like button, I have already sent Facebook my user-name. So that they’ll show me who of my friends liked this piece…
Using this information, Facebook can tell exactly who of their users visited any Like-embedded page:
We do not even have to be logged in to Facebook. We may have last logged in to Facebook more than a week ago. Theoretically, we may have even logged out(!).
I know this was already discussed here. (Thanks Assaf Sela). But I think that the full implications of this are not clear yet.
I also know that in a similar way Google can do this with their various products, and so can many other ads and services for website owners.
Facebook’s access to our network of connections and personal information is the thing that is new and somewhat troubling here…
1) Like this page – to let your friends know about this… Hehe, I love the irony of this 🙂
2) Re-Share this page… Sharing is stronger than “Liking” with regard to spreading the word out…
3) I’m looking for Firefox and Chrome add-ons that will block this information from Facebook… Maybe something similar to the Google Alarm offered here: http://fffff.at/google-alarm/
4) (Update:) AdBlock can be used to remove the Like altogether on Firefox, as mentioned here: http://superuser.com/questions/144973/blocking-facebooks-like-button-in-firefox