Facebook will track users that have no Facebook accounts around the Internet, the company’s VP told the Wall Street Journal, with the sole purpose of collecting information so it can show ads to them.

Until now, Facebook only showed ads to users that registered on the site, while non-users that accessed the portal could view its content, if public, without seeing its ads.

Facebook will track non-users across the Internet

Facebook’s VP said the company plans to implement the upcoming advertising model changes by first collecting information on site non-members. He says this is necessary to show quality ads, based on each user’s interest. Google uses the same methods, while others use even more intrusive tactics.

The company plans to collect all this data on non-users via its social plugins and buttons embedded on millions of sites across the Internet.

Last summer, Facebook got in trouble in Belgium for this same reason. To alleviate privacy concerns and to abide by Europe’s strict laws, the company also started showing a cookie policy notification to all European users at the top of the site.

Users and non-users will be able to opt out of targeted advertising

Furthermore, on Thursday, the company also announced changes to its Cookies Policy, and also added a new Privacy Basics section on its site to teach users about its ads.

Facebook’s VP, Andrew Bosworth, also told WSJ that Facebook users will be able to opt-out from seeing ads outside the site, based on their Facebook interests, but they’ll see random ads instead of targeted ones.

Non-users will also be able to opt-out from seeing targeted ads, but they’ll also see the ads regardless. Ad publishers can decide not to show ads to non-users, but they’ll be billed for it anyway.

Since advertising is Google’s main revenue stream, Facebook’s move won’t surprise anyone, because the company has to capitalize on its dominant market position to satisfy its board. This past March, when it released its latest financial results, the company said it had 1.65 billion monthly active users, more than a half of the total monthly Internet users.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

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