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Facebook/Google Tracking Opt Out


bikedorkseattle

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Sorry for the tinfoil hat post here. One thing many website owners and visitors don't full understand is that just the presence of Facebook et al share buttons, embeds, etc. provide those companies tracking data whether you are actually using those services are not. I've considered removing these buttons but at the same time these services are also kind of vital for outreach, and most people who use those services don't seem to care. My question is whether it's worth it to allow registered users to opt out of these services, meaning that share buttons are either completely removed, or added in such a way that removes the tracking capability of the services?

Thinking long term, I feel like where forums have a chance is where people get sick of how much they are tracked, and just how much of their data and conversations are owned by just a few conversations. For instance Instagram and WhatsApp are owned by Facebook. If you use any of these services, especially IG, you will see how much data mining is going on and how they are able to show ads in IG strictly from a WhatsApp conversation.

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Our Facebook "share" button is just a link to Facebook using a font-awesome icon. We aren't actually embedding anything from Facebook itself, so it does not allow Facebook to track anything.

Of course, if you enable Facebook Pixel in the AdminCP, or the Facebook login handler, then Facebook code gets embedded and they will be able to track whatever they decide to track - but that is a decision you as the administrator has to make, not the end user. You can't use a service like Facebook Pixel and let users opt-out, and likewise you can't support Facebook logins but let users not see the button optionally (and further to that, the button only shows for guests, so you wouldn't really be able to track a per-user preference for logged out users anyways).

In short, the share button isn't a concern (it's not a true Facebook share button, it's just a link). Anything else you have to add at your own discretion.

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Thanks @bfarber I guess I never noticed that about the share links. With the login handler though, even if people opt to use traditional logins or a different service, FB will still be tracking them. So maybe to redefine the question a bit, is whether it would be possible, or useful in the future, to allow users to disable that if they wish, instead of it being all or none from the admin side.

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15 minutes ago, bikedorkseattle said:

Thanks @bfarber I guess I never noticed that about the share links. With the login handler though, even if people opt to use traditional logins or a different service, FB will still be tracking them. So maybe to redefine the question a bit, is whether it would be possible, or useful in the future, to allow users to disable that if they wish, instead of it being all or none from the admin side.

The login handler is just our button as well that directs to Facebook. If they don’t click it, they won’t be sent to Facebook and processed through their system. 

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