Facebook looking to capture your mouse movements

Let’s cut to the chase here. Facebook is testing new ways to collect more granular data on its users and members. While it’s no secret that advertising is one of, if not the primary way Facebook generates revenue, collecting data based on how long your mouse hovered over a particular link or advert starts to sound very George Orwell, Nineteen Eighty-Four-'ish.

Facebook’s Ken Rudin has said “I can’t promise that it will roll out. We probably will know in a couple of months.” But the fact that this is even being entertained as a strategy shows how much Facebook wants to tailor the Facebook experience to the users. And while that’s being generous, the security implications could be enormous, bordering on keylogger and mouse click levels.

At the moment, Facebook collects two types of data from its members; demographic and behavioural. Demographic is all about you; your location, school(s), job, etc. Behavioural is all about your friends and your likes of posts, films, groups, music, etc. The, potential, new data collectors will add more to the behavioural data with Facebook looking to improve on the user experience, both from their products point of view and targeted advertising. Rudin added:

Did your cursor hover over that ad … and was the newsfeed in a viewable area? It is a never-ending phase.


Facebook breaking ground on a new datacenter

Facebook aren’t the first site to implement these methods as part of an analytical strategy. Shutterstock, literally, monitor everything that users do on their pages. Like Facebook, they currently use the open-source Hadoop, a distributed file system that can analyses data such as cursor placement and how long images are hovered over before being purchased. Facebook’s own data analytics warehouse has grown a massive 4000 times in just four years, storing over 300 petabytes of data (that’s 307,200TB in “normal” computing terms).

So, does this make you look at Facebook any different, or will it go as far as make you change your usage habits on the site. Let us know in the comments below.

Source: WSJ | Image courtesy of Vator

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55 Comments

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ray_bk said,
Facebook will become spyware.
One day, antivirus software will block it.
if only... then facebook would pay them off, and get themselves whitelisted.

As long as Facebook gives me a way to start my News Feed where I left off it would be nice, because as of now I keep scrolling downwards until I find the last post I saw the other night and then scroll back up. I mainly do this to not miss anything and to keep things chronologically. It is sooo annoying.

Just what we need. doesn't the NSA have enough data? .. now FB as well . GREAT. well time to close my FB account and welcome GOOGLE +!!

Google+ ?
Google tracks more data from you! Like Google+, Google search and Youtube, all activities you spent on these sites are tracked.

Google+ is a lot of fun to use. The funny thing about G+ vs FB is that Facebook secretly tracks you while Google openly tracks you, but read below for a tip.

You're more likely to post sensitive content on FB and that's where people get mad when they discover they're being spied on. On G+ you're more likely to post public safe content such as funny gifs, art/drawings, silly stories, game screens (all the cool stuff). For some reason, nobody seems to be posting family albums on G+ the way they did on FB, AND they rarely talk about themselves or post status updates so there's not much to discover besides a person's trending interests and video views. The mentality on G+ is wayyyy different, and probably for the better.

Custom URLs came out, go check that out I'm +IzludeTingel (and +Izlude)

There`s not many thinks i find less distasteful (when a new site is being constructed by company x) than getting a load of suits round, sticking shovels in their hands and make it look like the`re the ones starting the building work.
Why not go the whole hog and stick em in orange overalls!

Of course iv`e heard of it, i just think it`s pathetic really! Most of these guys/gals would get blisters if they used a shovel/spade for 5 minutes...

Riggers said,
Of course iv`e heard of it, i just think it`s pathetic really! Most of these guys/gals would get blisters if they used a shovel/spade for 5 minutes...

5 minutes? you must be generous. They probably got blisters from looking at the shovels.

Why is it that people are so blind or just don't care about how these services are using them?

I refuse to be on facebook and all the people I work with think I'm loner... it's the opposite. While I'm spending my time having dinners and doing real things with my real friends... they are spending hours in a week on Facebook chatting with their many "friends" they barely know or have never met. Just so they can have their mouse movements tracked and privacy exploited in any legal way possible to help the rich get richer.

rbrucemtl said,
Why is it that people are so blind or just don't care about how these services are using them?

I refuse to be on facebook and all the people I work with think I'm loner... it's the opposite. While I'm spending my time having dinners and doing real things with my real friends... they are spending hours in a week on Facebook chatting with their many "friends" they barely know or have never met. Just so they can have their mouse movements tracked and privacy exploited in any legal way possible to help the rich get richer.

You know you can use Facebook and have a life right? Its pretty easy actually.

rbrucemtl said,
Why is it that people are so blind or just don't care about how these services are using them?

I refuse to be on facebook and all the people I work with think I'm loner... it's the opposite. While I'm spending my time having dinners and doing real things with my real friends... they are spending hours in a week on Facebook chatting with their many "friends" they barely know or have never met. Just so they can have their mouse movements tracked and privacy exploited in any legal way possible to help the rich get richer.

Its sad really. A few years back I had a party at my house and the only thing anyone wanted to do was take turns using the computer to get on Facebook.

Glad I never signed up for it.

rbrucemtl said,
Why is it that people are so blind or just don't care about how these services are using them?

I refuse to be on facebook and all the people I work with think I'm loner... it's the opposite. While I'm spending my time having dinners and doing real things with my real friends... they are spending hours in a week on Facebook chatting with their many "friends" they barely know or have never met. Just so they can have their mouse movements tracked and privacy exploited in any legal way possible to help the rich get richer.

Amen, to that!!

Yes,
You CAN have a life and still use Facebook, but most I see, DON'T!!

In my personal opinion, ALL those social networking sites should flat out be against the law!! Absolutely disgusting to see how people are with some of those sites!

cork1958 said,

Amen, to that!!

Yes,
You CAN have a life and still use Facebook, but most I see, DON'T!!

In my personal opinion, ALL those social networking sites should flat out be against the law!! Absolutely disgusting to see how people are with some of those sites!

Everyone I know does. Does my anecdote win?

I once clicked a link for fake sunglasses on Facebook, now the only ads I ever get is for fake sunglasses. Report them as fake, spam or child molesting yet they seem to come back over and over again so I suspect they would be better spent trying to get all the fake advertisers off their site... although that doesn't pay.

Oh if only it were that simple, there is a famous fake Rayban seller out of China whose ad I have blocked 34 times yet still see it now and again. Reported as fake, pedo but they keep coming back. And really what incentive do Facebook have to block these ads if they get paid for them.

I use that x more than any other tool on FB but suspect it does nothing at all

My personal Opinion, MS is always most admirable company than FB, Google, Apple by any means or at-least respecting at Consumers opinions

Luc2k said,
Corporations are not your friends. They all look to make as much money as possible.

I didn't say friend. Of choices out there, I would lean towards MS more.

nitins60 said,

I didn't say friend. Of choices out there, I would lean towards MS more.

It is just a matter of time until they p*ss you off. I had my share of grievance with them, and I even had to take a case to EU authorities once. My favourite company out there, hands down, is Amazon. In matters oBut I wouldn't hold my breath for them

nitins60 said,
My personal Opinion, MS is always most admirable company than FB, Google, Apple by any means or at-least respecting at Consumers opinions

Microsoft wasn't respecting consumers when it set-up a shell corporation in Ireland to avoid paying billions of dollars in taxes. Microsoft wasn't respecting consumers when it worked with the NSA to hand over the private data of its users. Microsoft wasn't respecting consumers when it forced companies like Bungie and Ensemble to stop developing games for PC. Microsoft wasn't respecting consumers when it violated competition law with Internet Explorer.

Like so many companies it produces many great products but regularly behaves in a less than ethical manner. People should be wary of admiring such a company, just as they should others like Apple, Google and Facebook.

theyarecomingforyou said,

Microsoft wasn't respecting consumers when it set-up a shell corporation in Ireland to avoid paying billions of dollars in taxes. Microsoft wasn't respecting consumers when it worked with the NSA to hand over the private data of its users. Microsoft wasn't respecting consumers when it forced companies like Bungie and Ensemble to stop developing games for PC. Microsoft wasn't respecting consumers when it violated competition law with Internet Explorer.

Any other company did?

pmdci said,

It is just a matter of time until they p*ss you off. I had my share of grievance with them, and I even had to take a case to EU authorities once. My favourite company out there, hands down, is Amazon. In matters oBut I wouldn't hold my breath for them

Would that be the same Amazon that uses every trick in the book to avoid paying its taxes?

Sad Really.. A while back I was thinking.. There is not really any more big businesses that out their for their customers any more.. Remember when Mcdonald's would give you awesome coffee cups and stuff? No one is really looking out and trying to make a better experience for the customers anymore.. Very sad..

FloatingFatMan said,

Would that be the same Amazon that uses every trick in the book to avoid paying its taxes?

Yes, and I don't give a flying f* about that, as I am strongly against governmental plundering

The one that amazes me is Google because they managed to hammer that in early on. They had enough people drinking the kool aid that they are the good guys from day one. Just like you. Just like me. One of us. Far too many people are still so far up Googles butt nothing can phase them.

pmdci said,
Yes, and I don't give a flying f* about that, as I am strongly against governmental plundering

Taxation is not "plundering", particularly not when it serves only to level the playing field with traditional stores and pay for the services that people expect and demand. If you oppose the current tax system then vote to change it but don't applaud businesses using legal loopholes to avoid paying the taxes they're obligated to.

pmdci said,

Yes, and I don't give a flying f* about that, as I am strongly against governmental plundering

I agree. Bravo to anyone not bending over and letting the government take them to the cleaners.

Lord Method Man said,
I agree. Bravo to anyone not bending over and letting the government take them to the cleaners.

Tax evasion isn't something to applaud. That money should be paying for schools, hospitals and public services, not lining the pockets of wealthy shareholders. Take your anarchistic proclamations elsewhere.

theyarecomingforyou said,

Tax evasion isn't something to applaud. [...]

Clap, clap, cap, clap...

On a more serious note, let's not confuse EVASION with AVOIDANCE. A simple Google search on the matter will point you to good publications on the matter.

theyarecomingforyou said,

Yeah, we're really not going to agree if your rebuttal is a two-hundred year old article proclaiming that "life is a gift from God".

Seriously... That is your argument? What's next? Shall we ridicule Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations because it is old as well?

Frederic Bastiat is a renowned political economist, and his ideas are the basis for Austrian School of Economics.

pmdci said,
Frederic Bastiat is a renowned political economist, and his ideas are the basis for Austrian School of Economics.

And the opening statement is that "life is a gift from God", with constant references to God throughout - the central premise is flawed. Further, his work originated before the concept of socialism and the major works of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, as well as the innovations of the single-payer health system and the introduction of the old age pension. Modern governments bear little relation to those that existed in the mid 19th century.

theyarecomingforyou said,

Modern governments bear little relation to those that existed in the mid 19th century.

Yes. Modern-day governments rely on FIAT money and aberrations like central-bank.

And as I said, Bastiat is the foundation for the Austrian school, and it is essential read for those who follow it. The same way no respectful physicist would disregard Newton just because he came before Einstein, Bastiat is seen as a man with ideas ahead of his time. Capitalizing on his religious belief is a bit silly.

pmdci said,
Capitalizing on his religious belief is a bit silly.

Not when his religious beliefs form the basis for his political ideology. Further, his views on taxation would preclude the possibility of state pensions, welfare and single-payer healthcare, all things which people rely on and take for granted. He opposed any form of wealth redistribution via taxation, whether for regulation, protection, subsidisation, public schools or otherwise - put simply he opposed government. His views are anathema to modern society.

theyarecomingforyou said,

[...] His views are anathema to modern society.

And thank G-d for that. Wealth distribution is plundering. Moreover, do you think he is the only economist that has such views?

theyarecomingforyou said,

[...] Take your anarchistic proclamations elsewhere.

Excuse me, but who made you the bastion of ethics of Neowin?

@Lord Method Man: I welcome you and your comments. Please stay and keep making your 'anarchistic [sic] proclamations' right here.

theyarecomingforyou said,

That money should be paying for schools, hospitals and public services.

Too bad that instead it goes to things like the invasion of Panama, the 2003 invasion of Iraq, and so forth.

pmdci said,
And thank G-d for that. Wealth distribution is plundering.

You are factually wrong. The definition of 'plunder' is "to rob of goods by force, especially in time of war" or "to seize wrongfully or by force", neither of which apply to taxation. You might disagree with the current taxation policies, and given the nature of democracy you'd be hard pushed to find anyone who doesn't object to some aspect of them, but they are democratic in nature.

pmdci said,
Too bad that instead it goes to things like the invasion of Panama, the 2003 invasion of Iraq, and so forth.

You say that as if I support such things.

theyarecomingforyou said,

[...] The definition of 'plunder' is "to rob of goods by force, [...]

And this is what taxation is, since the time of feudal lords. Only those who benefit from others wealth think that taxation is a good idea.

theyarecomingforyou said,

You say that as if I support such things. [...]

Actually I say it like it is. Tax money in Jesusland goes to fund those military campaigns most of all.

pmdci said,
And this is what taxation is, since the time of feudal lords. Only those who benefit from others wealth think that taxation is a good idea.

Nonsense. Billionaires like Bill Gates, George Soros, Steven Spielberg, Bill Gross, Marc Benioff, John Doerr, Irwin Jacobs, David Geffen and Warren Buffett have all called for taxes to be INCREASED on the rich. What benefit is there to a society having billionaires accumulating wealth they will never spend, wealth that can all too easily corrupt the political system, when it could be taxed and used to support those who would greatly benefit from it? Such increases would have ZERO impact on their quality of life, yet would substantially increase it for those at the bottom.

I support a society that works together for the greater good; you clearly do not.

theyarecomingforyou said,

I support a society that works together for the greater good; you clearly do not.

Life must be seen quite colorful from inside your drum circle

Have people suckling from the tit of hard-workers isn't 'working together' in my book. Having my tax-payer money going to wars I don't support, isn't working together in my book either.

I rather have the money I am supposed to give as income tax to charities like Oxfam, Cancer Research and others -- than to give to a filthy government.

KUDOS to Amazon. In fact, the fact that Amazon does what they do, is a A++++ in my book.

pmdci said,
I rather have the money I am supposed to give as income tax to charities like Oxfam, Cancer Research and others -- than to give to a filthy government.

Then move to Afghanistan or Somalia, where there is minimal taxation and government interference. Oh wait, you want the benefits provided but don't want to pay for them. Hypocrite.

theyarecomingforyou said,

Then move to Afghanistan or Somalia, where there is minimal taxation and government interference. Oh wait, you want the benefits provided but don't want to pay for them. Hypocrite.

So, you know for a fact that Afghanistan or Somalia has minimum taxation or government interference? Are you for REAL? I invite you to read what you just wrote, in hope that you can see how stupid, moronic, imbecile and pathetic your last statement is.

And what makes you think that I don't want to pay for benefits provided? Are you resorting to NON SEQUITUR now?

I am already a domicile in a country where there is no income tax for people. So I am quite happy where I am -- paying exactly for what I need, and no more. Thank you very much