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URL Stripping Might Not Stop Facebook From Tracking You Anymore, Here’s Why

The prevalence of third party tracking for internet users has become a major problem because of the fact that this is the sort of thing that could potentially end up violating your right to privacy. Major social media platforms like Facebook are notorious for tracking their users without informing them or obtaining their express consent, and while Apple’s recent privacy policies have prevented them somewhat, Facebook has still managed to continue tracking users despite such setbacks.

Mozilla’s URL stripping feature which was launched just last month helped users to automatically remove tracking parameters from the sites that they were visiting, and Brave also has a feature similar to this one. With all of that having been said and now out of the way, it is important to note that Facebook has found a workaround for this by encrypting their tracking links. Instead of the simple and easy to spot fbclid parameter, Facebook has started using impossibly complex encrypted links that can trick and bypass URL strippers.

Users might have been hoping that they could get a bit more privacy online thanks to URL strippers, but in spite of the fact that this is the case it seems that Facebook is not going to go down without a fight. The social media platform simply won’t have a sustainable business model if it is unable to harvest large quantities of tracking data from all of its users, and it will continue to find workarounds for the various privacy boosting features that web browsers and other tech companies try to put out.

The only way to truly protect yourself from Facebook’s omniscience is by logging out of your Facebook account and regularly clearing your cache of cookies. However, some studies have shown that Facebook can continue tracking you even if you are not logged in, so many users might feel the need to completely delete their Facebook profiles with all things having been considered and taken into account.

Facebook’s tremendous growth in the previous decade has stalled, but the social media platform still has billions of users. While it is failing to target the younger demographics who much prefer TikTok, Facebook is still managing to extract a lot of value since it is now primarily catering to older users who aren’t very tech savvy.

Merging the tracking link with the overall URL makes it difficult to remove the link without killing it. Privacy conscious users might not have any choice other than deleting their accounts, because it seems unlikely that Facebook would be able to build a business model that isn’t entirely reliant on the illicit and underhanded collection of user data.


H/T: Ghacks

Read next: US Agencies Are Getting Easy Access To Users’ Personal Information Online

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