Morning Dough
To: Dough Readers

ONLINE MARKETING

What Tools Checks Website For Trackers Running In The Background

The internet is a labyrinthian place and Facebook is hiding around almost every corner. A new tool, dubbed Blacklight, helps you spot the behemoth lying in wait.

Developed and released by the Markup, Blacklight reveals what trackers are running in the background of websites without — and here’s the key— you having to visit those websites first. One such tracker, the Facebook Pixel, is particularly problematic.

Facebook tracks users (and non-users), even when they’re not logged in, via the Pixel. The Pixel is a largely unnoticeable “analytics tool” running in the background of millions of websites (including this one) which collates and reports your actions, on a granular level, back to Facebook. Among other things, the Pixel enables website owners to later target their visitors with ads on Facebook. In a recent test done by the Markup, 30 percent of popular websites were laden with an embedded Facebook Pixel.

“[The] pixel will fire when someone takes an action on your website,” explains Facebook. “Examples of actions include adding an item to their shopping cart or making a purchase. The pixel receives these actions, or events, which you can view on your Facebook pixel page in Events Manager.”

In other words, sites with Facebook Pixels are sending user data back to Facebook. Presumably, Facebook can then — as it does with information gleaned from Facebook’s social plugins on third-party sites — tie this information to your Facebook account and, consequently, your real identity. 

Read more here.

Get Blacklight tool here.

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