Rainey Reitman, activism director at the EFF, says that is not enough, because anytime you load a page with a “Like” or “Share” button embedded, Facebook will still know about it. “Promising not to use information is not the same as promising to actually delete the data,” she says. “The ‘Like’ data is especially problematic. Most people probably don’t even realize that whenever they load a page with a ‘Like’ button on it, Facebook gets a little information on them.” Facebook did not respond to a request for comment by time of publication.

Reitman says it would be better to design the buttons to send data to Facebook only when someone actively engaged with them. In place of its new privacy option, the company should instead agree to respect the “do not track” standard under development, she says. It allows you to change a setting in your browser that signals to publishers that you do not wish to be tracked across different sites. The exact implementation of the feature is still being worked out, but one version of it would have sites stop data collection altogether if a person had turned the do not track setting on.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015
MIT Technology Review