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Wednesday, November 14, 2012
Facebook finding new ways to Track its Users
The Electronic Privacy Information Center has (EPIC) recently questioned Facebook’s relationship with data marketer, Datalogix. Facebook requested the aid of Datalogix to bolster their advertising strategy. EPIC, however, believes that the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) should open an investigation on whether the relationship between Facebook and Datalogix complies with the terms of an agreement between Facebook and the FTC made in November 2011.
The recent partnership with Datalogix, however, has raised concern over whether Facebook will abide by its commitment. Datalogix is linked to Facebook through loyalty cards, which allow it to track user purchases and target advertising campaigns according to the purchases. In addition, the loyalty cards are linked to Facebook accounts, which share information such as email addresses.
Through their relationship, Datalogix will be able to give Facebook and its advertisers information on which ads drove in-store sales. Moreover, the information will provide an indication of which ads Facebook users see and may determine if an item was purchased offline. Although the information provided by Datalogix is based on what ads Facebook users are drawn to, it has also been their practice to share users' personal information to allow advertisers to get a better picture of the potential customer. This data sharing has Facebook users concerned, and may find such tracking as a violation of their privacy.
Facebook has been repeatedly charged by the FTC for sharing information that users believe to be kept private. Although it is not readily apparent whether the relationship with Datalogix will violate the agreement with the FTC, Facebook seems to continually find loopholes to potentially compromise the privacy of its users.
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