Facebook is tracking you, and it's doing it whether you're a member of Facebook or not. That's according to recent findings by The Interdisciplinary Centre for Law & ICT at Belgium's largest university KU Leuven.
The ICRI were asked by the Belgian Privacy Commission to examine recent changes to Facebook's terms and conditions. What they found was that Facebook was tracking people even if they weren't signed into the site.
The report says, "In principle, any page belonging to the facebook.com domain will result in the placement of a long-term, identifying cookie (e.g., an event page, a shop page, fan page, …)."
"It is also worth noting that non-users who visit a Facebook page are generally not requested to provide their consent prior to placement of cookies, nor are they provided with a clear notice."
If true this would mean that Facebook is in direct violation of the Privacy Directive as set out by the European Union.
Facebook openly disputes the claims made by the report and has issued a statement saying:
"We’re disappointed that the authors of this opinion and the Belgian DPA, who we understand commissioned it, have declined to meet with us or clarify the inaccurate information about this and other topics. We remain willing to engage with them and hope they will be prepared to correct their work in due course.”
The report goes on to give a scathing account of Facebook's new privacy settings, calling them 'complex' and 'problematic'.
Blaming an abundance of confusing settings, the report suggests that it places 'too much burden on its users'.