Society

Facebook May Start Tracking Your Cursor's Movement While Using The Site

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The next step in Facebook’s never-ending quest for monetizable data: tracking your mouse cursor while you’re on the site.

Facebook chief Ken Rudin told the Wall Street Journal  recently that the social networking giant is preparing to ramp up how much behavioral data they collect from users on the site. Rudin said new data additions could include tracking how long a user’s cursor hovers over an area of the site and whether a user’s newsfeed is visible at a given time on their mobile screen.  The data would be added to a data analytics warehouse that is used for product development and advertisement targeting.

Rudin says the new measurements are not certain to be implemented and are part of one of the company’s on-going data development projects.

“It is a never-ending phase. I can’t promise that it will roll out. We probably will know in a couple of months,” he said.

The company would use the software framework Apache Hadoop to collect the data. According to Hadoop’s creators, the software is a framework “that supports data-intensive distributed applications under a free license. It enables applications to work with thousands of nodes and petabytes of data.”

Hadoop is a popular program – Twitter and LinkedIn use it as well – with many different data collecting uses. Facebook already uses the program to collect much of its current user data.

One website already using Hadoop to track cursor movements is the photo site Shutterstock. In March, Shutterstock CEO Jon Oringer told the Wall Street Journal that the site is “looking at every move a user makes, in order to optimize the Shutterstock experience….All these new technologies can process that.”

What do you think? Is Facebook crossing a privacy line here, or would this not really bother you? Let us know in the comments section. 

Source: Wall Street Journal, Valley Wag, Line of Thought

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