Saturday, June 14, 2014

Facebook will gather browsing, app history from advertisers; why we should learn to use TOR

Facebook is poised to start accumulating member browsing and app-usage history, especially that submitted by advertisers from their own cookie mechanisms, as part of its advertising program, despite saying in 2011 that it wouldn’t.  Oh, there is a complicated opt-out.  All of this is laid out in recent media stories, such as Kashmir Hill’s missive for Forbes, here. The writer gives an interesting example of how this would work with singer Beyonce.  

I’m not into automating all of my life on smartphones enough to feel very much affected.  But I noticed with some interesting this morning an Electronic Frontier Foundations story maintaining that everyone should learn to use TOR, and that “TOR is for everyone” (link).   EFF gives an example where a user needs to keep medical or mental health issue browsing out of the hands of anyone else.   I think the practical risks to me are remote.  Maybe there’s always the outside risk of being framed.  But imagine in a family, a teenager doesn’t want his parents to see unusual ads based on her browsing.  

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