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Facebook are known to track you even after you have logged out of your Facebook account. With mobile apps being given permission to access so much information on the devices, is it possible for Facebook or other social networks to track your browsing through the permissions given to the apps? In other words, lets say you have never logged into Facebook on your device and put their cookies on your device, but you have their app. Can their app track you too?

  • question is confusing.do you run the fb app? is the app supposed to be using the same cookies as the page? i also don't think fb tracks you once you logout, i looked into a couple years ago when they got in trouble for stuff like that... – dandavis Jun 3 '16 at 19:10
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    No, Facebook tracks everyone: newsroom.fb.com/news/2016/05/bringing-people-better-ads Note that the "opt out" only removes some of the targeting, but it absolutely does not stop them from tracking those with accounts or those without accounts. – pseudon Jun 4 '16 at 14:15
  • in the browser, Facebook reads and writes cookies from their own web pages, and from any page (which really means most top web sites) that has their tracking properties installed (e.g., "Like" button"). Most browsers let you block 3rd-party cookies (Facebook cookies on non-Facebook sites), though different browsers and settings behave differently if you are logged into Facebook in the browser (often in that case, even 3rd-party cookies are considered 1st party cookies) and allowed. – pseudon Jun 4 '16 at 14:23
  • Facebook-owned apps have access to somewhat different means of tracking which are separate from browser cookies. Certainly anything you do within a Facebook-owned app is known to Facebook. It varies by platform and version, but if you don't want the app to track you, you should: (1) turn off background app processing if possible; (2) don't give the app access to personal info like Location, Contacts, etc.; (3) avoid going back and forth between the app and the browser to minimize correlating the two; (4) uninstall the app. – pseudon Jun 4 '16 at 14:27
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Absolutely. Apps employ ad networks which are shared among different websites that share the same ad network (AdClick as an example). The ad network installs cookie on the system which gets shared between websites you visit and share the same ad network. That is, your unique cookie gets tossed around, which helps track your movement across the web.

  • This is the kind of thing I was looking for. Thanks. – USER61 Jun 3 '16 at 23:06
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    How can a never opened Facebook app track your browsing behavior? It can't set cookies in your browser – Neil Smithline Jun 4 '16 at 3:44
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    Agree with @NeilSmithline. What happens in apps and what happens in the browser are, for the most part, separate (although various device fingerprinting techniques can often bridge the gap). – pseudon Jun 4 '16 at 14:18
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    @USER61 - I believe that this answer is wrong. I see no way for an app to trace your browser activity – Neil Smithline Jun 4 '16 at 14:22

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