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Facebook claim that tracking cookie was a bug

We recently covered a report from Belgium, which said that Facebook tracked people around the web, even if they weren't members of the social media platform, and that it did so for the purpose of ad targeting.

Now the social media giant has decided to speak out on the matter, and as it turns out, the part about tracking people who weren't members of Facebook was a bug and they fixed it.

The claim that Facebook uses Social Plugins to add cookies to the browsers of people who don’t use Facebook is untrue, they say:

"We don’t, and this is not our practice. However, the researchers did find a bug that may have sent cookies to some people when they weren’t on Facebook. This was not our intention – a fix for this is already under way.“

On some other parts, Facebook says the report "gets it wrong multiple times“.

Researchers at the Computer Security and Industrial Cryptography department (Cosic) at the University of Leuven, and the media, information and telecommunication department (Smit) at Vrije Universiteit Brussels issued a report saying Facebook tracks the computers of users without their consent, whether they are logged in to Facebook or not, and even if they are not registered users of the site or explicitly opt out in Europe.

Facebook says that it operates in Europe according to existing laws and publishes audits performed by the Irish Data Protection Commissioner.

Researchers behind the study say that Facebook’s response “unfairly” attributes statements to them they did not make, BGR reports, and that they stand behind their findings.

Sead Fadilpašić

Sead is a freelance journalist with more than 15 years of experience in writing various types of content, from blogs, whitepapers, and reviews to ebooks, and many more, across sites including Al Jazeera Balkans, TechRadar Pro, IT Pro Portal, and CryptoNews.