Archive for September, 2011

Thursday, September 29th, 2011

facebook Challenge results

Andromeda took the facebook Challenge, and found 52 separate requests in 24 hours that would have gone to the facebook mothership. Watch her blog for more updates. How about you?

If you look through these logs, pay particular attention to the referer field. This tells you on which site you were browsing when the data set out on its voyage toward facebook.

Tuesday, September 27th, 2011

Take the facebook Challenge

Worried about how much data facebook is collecting on you, even on 3rd party sites, even if you’re signed out? Try this for 24 hours:

  1. Find a file named ‘hosts’ on your computer. On Mac/Linux systems, it’s under /etc/. On Windows, it used to be under System32 somewhere, but who knows now. Stash a backup copy somewhere.
  2. Add the following on a new line:
  3. Configure a web server running on your local machine.
This will forcibly redirect all calls to facebook to local. At the end of 24 hours, take a look at your web server’s access log. Every line in there is something that would have gone to facebook. Every ‘like’ button, every little banner, all those things track your movements across the web, whether you are signed in to facebook or not. You’ll marvel at how many blank rectangles appear on sites you visit.
Bonus points: At the end of the 24 hours, don’t restore your hosts file.
Please post your facebook-free experiences here.