Caught in the Cookie Jar

Posted: September 11, 2012 in Cookie law, cookies, Social networking
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Facebook co-operates with bloggers regarding data-collecting cookies that remain after logout from the social media project

The technological industry of today is growing hard and fast, and a new vocabulary is emerging with it.  Cookies are no longer the harmless baked goods of yesterday, but a growing online privacy concern.

It is in this light that a recent discovery by blogger Nik Cubrilovic was made, revealing that Facebook was tracking users’ visits to other sites via cookies.  This tracking was taking place not only during the Facebook sessions themselves but even post-logout from the site.

Whilst Facebook engineers were impressively quick to respond directly to the situation, modifying the manner in which cookies were stored, some cookies still survive the latest changes.  For this reason, the cautious are advised to clear their cookies after every use of the networking site before moving elsewhere on the web.

As Cubrilovic points out, ‘I believe Facebook when they describe what these cookies are used for, but that is not a reason to be complacent on privacy issues… take initiative in remaining safe’.

Given the day-to-day saturation of the modern world in online social media, the onus is now on the individual to monitor their own activities carefully – a task that should hopefully be made easier by the latest Data Protection Regulation from the EU.

This came into force this summer (2012) (as far as cookies are concerned) and requires that sites warn visitors about their cookie usage.  If you are unclear on how your site should implement cookie control in accordance with this directive, we can help.

© Brian Miller, Solicitor, 2012. This article may not be reproduced without the prior written permission of the author.

Brian is a solicitor at Stone King LLP.  For further news and information on legal topics of interest, please visit Brian’s other blogs:

Brian Miller Solicitor’s Games Law Blog
Brian Miller Solicitor’s IP Law Blog
Brian Miller Solicitor’s Privacy & Data Protection Law Blog

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