The Markup is making an offer to anyone with a Facebook account – even an inactive one. Previously, they mapped out how the Meta Pixel (formerly the Facebook Pixel) gathered people’s sensitive information from everything from hospitals to tax-filing services. Now, they’re teaming up with Consumer Reports to map out the next technology social media marketers use to watch all of our movements, all of the time:
It’s called “server-to-server tracking,” which essentially means that when companies get some information about you, their servers send it directly to another company’s server. Privacy research tools often rely on certain signals from your computer, mobile device, or browser to detect tracking. But “server-to-server tracking” doesn’t emit any of these sorts of signals.
We need your help seeing what companies have sent to Facebook about you, including what they’ve sent using server-to-server tracking. (We’ll likely also see data that was sent through the Meta Pixel.) We’ll walk you through how to download your data from Facebook and share it with us. Then, Consumer Reports will use two specific parts of your data file:
Your Facebook events. These include “events” reported to Facebook by other companies, including companies that have their servers tell Facebook’s servers about something that you did—for example, if you tapped on a button on a company’s mobile app, added an item to your cart or wishlist, or bought something in its physical store. Companies that use this feature will recognize it as Facebook’s Conversions API.
Facebook custom audiences that include you. These are lists of email addresses or phone numbers that companies upload to Facebook. Facebook advertises this as a way for companies to target their ads to people who are already in their “existing audiences” or if Facebook thinks you are similar to those people. For example, a company could upload its newsletter subscriber list.
More details on what’s going on – and instructions on how to sign up – at the link.