Facebook and Google can easily track users because they forget to logout

Posted 27 September 2018 17:48 CET by Jan Willem Aldershoff

Internet users forget to logout from Facebook and Google en masse, which allows the companies to accurately track users on other websites, according to a report compiled by Dutch consumer organization ‘Consumentenbond’. The organization asked 1,800 Dutch participants to check their privacy settings on their phone or PC and asked which measures the participants take against online tracking.
Participants were divided in 3 groups, 600 had an Android smartphone, another 600 had an iPhone and the last 600 had a PC.

Nearly all participants (95%) didn’t have an ad blocker on their mobile device, while 81% had no ad blocker installed on their PC. The organization also found that 87% of the Android smartphones, with the Facebook-app installed, were sharing their location with Facebook, even when they were not using the app. On iPhones this number was 38%. Sharing location data could result in location-based advertisements.

Consumentenbond also found that users don’t logout from Facebook (60%) and Google (40%). This allows the companies to track users on other websites. When users are logged in to Google and Facebook and visit websites that also integrate advertising systems or social widgets from Google and Facebook, the tech giants can follow them and link presumed interests.

The Consumentenbond report also shows that users don’t change the privacy settings in their Google account which allows Google to store all kinds of data about the user such as location, used search queries and images.

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