Users Should Get More Control Over Facebook Tracking

COMMENTARY | Now that news of Facebook tracking is officially penetrating just about every area of the media, the "do not track" debate is front and center. Facebook is not the only company that tracks where users visit after they have left the company's webpage. A few of the main reasonscompanies want to know where users surf is show them more relevant ads and to keep those "like" buttons on all those pages.
Anyone with a basic knowledge of the Internet knows that companies like Facebook, Google, andYahoo make a lot of money from advertising. Showing more effective ads increases the chance that users will make the all-important "click" to view more information about the advertiser or the product. While it sounds like an innocent way to maximize earnings, the invasion of privacy does not sit well with many.
Many want their Internet searches and history confidential, but shouldn't that information bepersonal business in the first place. If Facebook, and other Internet giants, are tracking users without consent, that is something of a problem. Sure, inviting them to do so is one thing, but performing the equivalent of Internet stalking just to show better ads seems a little over-the-top. Users need to begiven some control over the tracking ability of those companies, which is what "Do Not Track" is all about.
Even burying the tracking information in the "terms of service" would be unsettling; because I'm sure everybody gives the TOS a good read before clicking "I Agree." The bottom line is tracking Internet users off of a particular site is information that could be sold to other parties. Granted, with 800 million members Facebook has a bit more user information that could be sold than most social networks. There is a lot of information floating around cyberspace, and someone needs to protect the interests of users.
This is a common sense issue that needs to be taken seriously. Imagine if a television station assigned every viewer a monitor to find out where they did most of their shopping. Sure the information would be effective in marketing, but it really is nobody's business who shops at Wal-Mart and who shops at Target.

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