On Thursday, EFF released a new version of Privacy Badger featuring a new, experimental way to protect your privacy on–and crucially, off–Facebook. It specifically targets link tracking, Facebook’s practice of following you whenever you click on a link to leave facebook.com.
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What is link tracking?
Say your friend shares an article from EFF’s website on Facebook, and you’re interested. You click on the hyperlink, your browser opens a new tab, and Facebook is no longer a part of the equation. Right?
Not exactly. Facebook — and many other companies, including Google and Twitter — use a variation of a technique called link shimming to track the links you click on their sites.
When your friend posts a link to eff.org on Facebook, the website will “wrap” it in a URL that actually points to facebook.com: something like https://l.facebook.com/l.php?u=https%3A%2F%2Feff.org%2Fpb&h=ATPY93_4krP8Xwq6wg9XMEo_JHFVAh95wWm5awfXqrCAMQSH1TaWX6znA4wvKX8pNI