This Is Officially The Most Disturbing Piece Of Information That We've Learned About Facebook


Jonathan O'Callaghan

Senior Staff Writer


Valery Brozhinsky/Shutterstock/IFLScience

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’re probably aware that Facebook is under pretty intense scrutiny at the moment for how it uses the data of its users.

Off the back of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, CEO Mark Zuckerburg took questions from Congress about the site, doing his best to appear as robotic as possible.


But now the site has revealed that it tracks people around the Internet even when they are not logged into or using Facebook. The revelation was detailed by David Baser, the site’s production management director, in a blog post on April 16.

“When you visit a site or app that uses our services, we receive information even if you’re logged out or don’t have a Facebook account,” he wrote. “This is because other apps and sites don’t know who is using Facebook.”

The revelation is likely to be the latest in a string of unsettling news about Facebook privacy settings. The company is under more intense scrutiny than ever, not least because of the suspected role it played in allowing Russia to influence the 2016 US Presidential Election with fake news.

Basar noted how many websites and apps used Facebook services to better target their adverts. These included social plugins (like and share buttons), Facebook logins, Analytics, and measurement tools to show ads from Facebook advertisers or run them on Facebook.


“Many companies offer these types of services and, like Facebook, they also get information from the apps and sites that use them,” he said, simultaneously throwing everyone else under the bus.

“Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn all have similar Like and Share buttons to help people share things on their services. Google has a popular analytics service. And Amazon, Google, and Twitter all offer login features.”

It’s still not clear, however, exactly how Facebook uses the data of non-users or people who are logged out in these instances. Basar tried to alleviate concerns, though. “We don’t sell people’s data. Period,” he wrote.

If you’re worried about what Facebook knows about you, or what it’s sharing with others, you might want to take a look at your privacy settings on the site. You can also request to see all of the personal data the site holds about you.


This post seems to be a move by Facebook to try and be more transparent about how it tracks Internet users. While some questions remain unclear, the company does at least appear to be addressing concerns, which can only be a good thing while the spotlight is so intensely on them.


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