- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 31, 2013

Facebook executives say they have new technology to track how long users pause over certain spots on the site and they’re testing the data collection technique now, saying it could help advertisers more efficiently target customers.

The technology tests if a user’s cursor is hovered over an ad and if the newsfeed is in a viewable area, said Facebook analytics chief Ken Rudin, in The Daily Mail.

Critics, however, say the technology is Orwellian and seeks to actually record what users are thinking, and what they are doing.

The technology comes as Silicon Valley technology firms are already facing a bit more scrutiny and suspicion for their roles in assisting the National Security Agency obtain personal data on users. Those fears have led many Facebook users to abandon the site and delete their accounts.

Facebook still touts more than a billion users, however. It regularly collects demographic data on users — as well as some behavioral data, including what “likes” users have.

Mr. Rudin said in the Wall Street Journal that the new technology would expand upon Facebook’s ability to collect more of the latter type of data, the behavioral type. He also said he wasn’t sure when the technology would go live on the site.

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