Let the Facebook Pixel Hunt begin

Mozilla, a browser maker, recently announced its collaboration with a non-profit newsroom Markup. The collective efforts of two organizations will be directed towards research into a particular field of the internet that often remains overlooked by users, researchers and policymakers. This time under the scrupulous eyes of specialists and journalists the major social platform Facebook will receive its check. The collective research will dig into the depths of how Facebook’s tracking infrastructure mechanisms work and what negative consequences may arise from some of them.

“The Internet and the world cannot wait on platforms to do the right thing, especially when so much depends on it. This partnership seeks to lead the way in providing new and critical ways of illuminating the reality of the internet, led by the people who make it. This partnership comes at a time when the consequences of fragmented awareness have never been more stark,” Ted Han, Rally Product Lead at Mozilla shared his opinion with the public.

In 2021 Mozilla launched Rally Extension

In 2021 Mozilla launched Rally, a Firefox extension. It plays a key role in research and studies initiated by and done with collaboration of Mozilla. Before the Markup, browser maker had already collaborated with Princeton University’s Center for Information Technology Policy on news and misinformation about politics and COVID-19 across online services. And another academic ongoing study continues with the Stanford University Graduate School of Business on news consumption and the impact of ads. The researchers behind Facebook Pixel Hunt explain the peculiar thing that catches interest. Facebook may collect information about you even if you don`t have an account of this social network

The Markup investigation also will use the data provided by extension. Rally allows users who, of course, are willing to do this to share their own browsing behavior data. They contribute in such a way to research. Markup and Mozilla hope to reveal more on how the Facebook pixel-powered ad network works. And possibly they will get answers to the following questions. How widespread is Facebook’s tracking network? What other ways does Facebook track people? What kind of data does the Facebook pixel collect? What can this data reveal about people? Which sites share this data? The Facebook Pixel Hunt study will continue until July 13, 2022.

Don`t you try enter the Facebook fortress with your third-party things

Facebook is famous for its stubbornness against any third parties’ initiatives to dig into the work of its platform. It canceled, shut down and blocked numerous projects among them: NYU’s AdObserver researchers’ accounts, CrowdTangle, ProPublica’s Ad Transparency tools. The company even modified its own code to prevent The Markup’s Citizen Browser from collecting users` themselves volunteered data.

The Facebook pixel is a snippet of JavaScript code that loads a small library of functions. Advertisers can use it to track Facebook ad-driven visitor activity on their website. The mechanism uses Facebook cookies, which allows advertisers to match website visitors to their corresponding Facebook User accounts. Once it matched, they can score customers actions in the Facebook Ads Manager.

About Andrew Nail

Cybersecurity journalist from Montreal, Canada. Studied communication sciences at Universite de Montreal. I was not sure if a journalist job is what I want to do in my life, but in conjunction with technical sciences, it is exactly what I like to do. My job is to catch the most current trends in the cybersecurity world and help people to deal with malware they have on their PCs.

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