Use Firefox? Mozilla needs your help to see just how curious Facebook really is
Social media has been around long enough to see kids grow into adults and young people into their 50s. Facebook was launched in 2004 and has become the largest social network in the world, with billions of active users.
Whether you joined Facebook 15 years ago or five years ago, there are probably things you’ve posted that you’d rather keep in your circle of friends. It could be a picture from your sophomore spring break or an article about a celebrity who has since been embroiled in a scandal. Whatever the reason, you don’t have to search all your posts to hide them from the public. Tap or click here for instructions on how to do it in one step.
It’s no secret that Facebook plays fast and loose with its users’ privacy, but how exactly? Mozilla researchers in partnership with The Markup are launching what they call the “Facebook Pixel Hunt” study. Simply put, it tracks Facebook to see how this tracks users.
Facebook admits that it tracks your likes, posts, engagement time, location, hashtags, group pages and more for targeted advertising purposes.
You want to have a better idea of everything related you who is followed? Facebook launches its Privacy Center, where you can find out how your data is collected and also view the myriad security and privacy settings in one place. Tap or click here to view our report.
Follow you around the web
The Facebook Pixel Hunt study focuses on Facebook’s pixel tracking technology, which website developers can add to their site’s code. This allows sites to track Facebook users on their site and then target them with ads. This data, in turn, is shared with Facebook to be used for its own purposes.
The study proposes to map Facebook’s pixel tracking network and get a better insight into what kind of information it collects about users on different websites.
The Markup says it will use the information to conduct investigative journalism about Facebook’s tracking and use of data. The study will continue until July 13, 2022.
If you want to be part of the study, be aware that this will also involve data collection. In order to see what Facebook is tracking, Mozilla and The Markup need to track you as well. The study authors say the data will not be shared with third parties and that all data aggregation and analysis will be done in Mozilla’s “secure analysis environment”, after which all raw data will be deleted. Finally, The Markup will only use aggregated and anonymized data for its reports.
If you want to participate, you don’t have to do anything other than install a browser extension that collects the following information:
- Data sent to Facebook pixels while browsing
- The URLs of the web pages you browse
- The time you spend browsing pages
- The presence of Facebook login cookies in your browser
- A study survey that you will complete
- Metadata about the URLs you visit
You must have the Firefox browser to participate in the study, but other browsers may be affected in the future. Join the waiting list at rally.mozilla.org/join.
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