Facebook tracks you across the web and Mozilla wants your help in finding out how
Everyone knows that Facebook collects data on people online and then uses this to tailor content and advertising. Exactly how it does this remains something of a mystery, however.
Mozilla has partnered with non-profit newsroom The Markup for what it’s calling the 'Facebook Pixel Hunt' to find out how Meta tracks people across the web through its pixel-powered ad network, and what it does with this collected data.
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In my case, Facebook knows pretty much next to nothing about me (its 'targeted content' is even less targeted now than it was when I wrote this piece last year), but other people will have a different experience.
Rally (a privacy-first data-sharing platform created by Mozilla last year) and The Markup say of their collaboration:
The Facebook Pixel Hunt study will collect the following data from volunteers:
- The data sent to Facebook pixels as you browse
- The URLs of the web pages you browse
- The time you spend browsing pages
- The presence of Facebook login cookies in your browser
- A study survey that the user completes
- Metadata on the URLs your visit:
- The full URL of each webpage that you are on
- Time spent browsing and playing media on each webpage
- How far down the webpage you scrolled
If you wish to contribute to the study, and you have Firefox installed, you can grab the Rally add-on from here.
Mozilla is at pains to point out that it won’t be using collected data for nefarious purposes, stating:
- This study will not share granular measurements data with third parties.
- All efforts to aggregate and analyze the data will be done in Mozilla’s secure analysis environment. After completion of analysis we will delete all raw data.
- All reporting by The Markup will only use aggregated, anonymized data.