Google Engineer Creates Facebook Block For Chrome - InformationWeek

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10/20/2010
02:24 PM
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Google Engineer Creates Facebook Block For Chrome

Facebook Disconnect is a Chrome Extension that blocks Facebook Connect functionality on third-party Web sites.

On the heels of yet another Facebook privacy snafu earlier this week, a Google engineer has released a Chrome extension designed to prevent Facebook from tracking users who visit Web sites that use Facebook Connect.

Facebook Connect is a set of APIs that Web developers can integrate into their Web pages to allow visitors to log in via their Facebook identities and share information with their Facebook friends. Web pages that employ Facebook Connect code provide data about logged-in Facebook users who visit to Facebook.

Brian Kennish, an engineer on Google's Chromium project, explains the issue on Facebook Disconnect's Chrome Extensions Web page.

"Facebook is notified whenever you visit one of the more than one million sites on the Web that use Facebook Connect and has a history of leaking personally identifiable information to third parties," he wrote. "Turn off the flow of your data to them!"

Indeed, Facebook's record on privacy leaves something to be desired. Every few months another privacy issue crops up. But the same can be said about Google.

Both companies insist they take user privacy very seriously and users, for the most part, don't take privacy issues seriously enough to stop using Facebook or Google.

Kennish developed his extension as a personal project in a single day and posted it the day after news broke that a number of Facebook apps were leaking user ID numbers.

It's also possible to block Facebook data gathering using the popular Adblock Plus extension for Firefox, with the addition of this filter. Adblock Plus will also block Google ads.

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