Facebook Is Testing Software That Tracks Your Cursor's Every Move

Facebook Is Testing Software That Tracks Your Cursor's Every Move

When most people hear that Facebook upgrades are on the way, they're probably not hoping for more tracking software. But according to a new Wall Street Journal report, that's exactly what they're going to get.

Facebook's analytics chief Ken Rudin recently opened up to The Journal about how the social network plans to track user behaviour. Long story short, Facebook plans to track it very closely. At the moment, the company is testing software that would record everything from when a user's Newsfeed is visible on the screen to how long a user hovers over a certain part of the page.

That's right. Facebook wants to know exactly where you're moving your mouse. At all times.

Facebook is hardly the first company to try something like this, although it might be the biggest. Stock photo site Shutterstock, for one, tracks users' every move, from the photos they click on to the photos they think about clicking on. A couple of years ago, Microsoft developed a method that made it easy to track mouse movement with a single, lightweight chunk of Javascript. Given Facebook's close relationship with Microsoft, this might have even influenced the social network's own software.

Just because Facebook is testing these kinds of capabilities doesn't mean that it's going to use them, however. "It is a never-ending phase," Rudin said of the mouse-tracking software. "I can't promise that it will roll out. We probably will know in a couple of months." Now that the cat's out of the bag, though, you can bet users are going to revolt over having even less privacy on the website known for stomping all over privacy rights. [WSJ]

Picture: Shutterstock / 1000 Words

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Comments

    "AVG/Norton/MSE/Symantec (etc) has blocked "facebook.com". Spyware detected."

    it is purely for marketing revenue though. Better tracking = better performance in advertising = more money for Facebook.

    So if I view facebook on a touchscreen, no soup for them? They can track that I hide all posts from every advertiser they put in my feed.

      Just wait until they start trying to use the forward-facing camera for eye-tracking.

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