After the Cambridge Analytica scandal, people have become more and more worried about their privacy on Facebook. That is because the social media website admitted that it tracks their users and stores data.
Recently EFF came up with a new version of Privacy Badger which can help you protect yourself. This version focuses on link tracking, which is Facebook’s technique of following you when you click a link that leads you outside the app.
When Facebook uses link tracking it could learn a lot of things about you. For example, if one of your friends shares an article and you click the link, this shows that you are interested in it. Usually, you would think that Facebook is not able to access this information, as the link opens in a new tab, but that is not true.
Facebook uses a version of the link shimming technique, which allows it to track the links that are clicked on the site. Facebook is not the only company that does that, and there are many others such as Twitter or Google.
Whenever a link is posted on Facebook, it will appear differently, and the URL will point to facebook.com. Clicking it will determine your browser to make a request to Facebook that contains information about yourself and where you want to navigate. Facebook is the one that will redirect you to the link you wished to access.
The latest Privacy Badger version comes to protect you from this technique. Privacy Badger will replace all the link shims with the regular versions, and the tracking code that would run when you click them or hover over them will be blocked. This feature is based on Michael Ziminsky’s code.