Mozilla is launching a program that wants to show how much Meta and Facebook follow you

Firefox maker, Mozilla, she announced a new program which aims to show users how much Facebook and its parent company Meta monitor their activities. The program called Facebook Pixel Hunt will be implemented in cooperation with users – volunteers and the American non-profit journalistic organization The Markup Team, which deals with ethics and the impact of technology on society.

To participate in the study, users must install Rally (link) (Mozilla Data Sharing Platform) and then apply for the Pixel Hunt Studylink). After that, the tool will collect their data while surfing the web and send it to two organizations for analysis.

“According to its own privacy policy, Facebook may collect information about you across the web even if you do not have a Facebook account,” the program’s website states. “One of the ways Facebook does this is through a network of ‘pixels’ that can be installed on many of the sites you visit. By joining this study, you will help Rally and Markup investigate and report on where Facebook is following you and what information they are collecting. ”

Mozilla launched the Rally in June 2021 as an extension for the popular Firefox browser with the goal of raising people’s awareness of the value of their data.

Data collected using the extension were used to support various studies. Among the first were a study by the Princeton University Center for Information Technology Policy on news and disinformation about politics and Covid-19 on digital services, and a study by Stanford University Business School on how people consume news and the impact ads have on consumers. This will be the first time the Rally has teamed up with an organization like Markup, which does not come from academia.

Rally platform director Ted Hahn said the world could not wait for the platforms to “do the right thing, especially when it depends so much on it”. He said the goal of the partnership with Markup was to “shed light on the reality of the Internet, led by the people who make it.”

At a time of increased risk of identity theft, protecting someone’s data online has never been more important. Internet users are often advised to be careful with whom they share their personal information, to use strong authentication methods whenever possible, and to connect to the Internet via VPN to encrypt communications.

On the other hand, Facebook has often been criticized for handling user data, and one of the major incidents occurred between 2013 and 2016, when Facebook allowed the British consulting firm Cambridge Analytica to access user data without their consent. for the purpose of political advertising, ahead of the 2016 US presidential election.

It will be interesting to see how Facebook reacts to this study, given that they have reacted quickly in the past to stop similar research activities. If she doesn’t find a way to stop the study, it could open the eyes of users who may not be aware of how much Facebook is stalking them.

The study will last until July 13, 2022. Data to be collected for the study are data sent to Facebook pixels while the user is browsing the Internet, URLs of web pages they browse, time spent browsing pages, presence of login cookies in user browsers, and metadata about URLs that are volunteer visited (full URL of each web page the user is on, time spent browsing and playing media on each web page and how much they scrolled through the web page).

Source: by

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