Facebook Says California’s New Privacy Law Doesn’t Apply to Its Trackers. These Lawyers Disagree.

From Vox:

Though this is a state law, it will likely affect all Americans. It’s both easier and safer for companies to apply it nationally, and it’s expected that most of them will follow Microsoft’s lead and do exactly that. You may have noticed several websites sending you notifications about updated privacy policies recently; this is likely why.

Facebook is taking a different tack for its web trackerPixel. Pixel’s name comes from its physical appearance on a website that installs it: literally, one square pixel. But behind that pixel is a code that that installs cookies on your browser, allowing it to track your activity across the internet. Facebook is able to link your browser (and its activity) to your Facebook account, which gives it valuable data about you as an individual as well any categories it has placed you in — things like your location, age, gender, and interests.


According to the Wall Street Journal, Facebook will claim that it doesn’t sell the data that its web trackers collect; it simply provides a service to businesses and websites that install Pixel on their sites. Because of this, it believes its web trackers are exempt from CCPA’s regulations, which have exceptions for data exchanged with a “service provider” that is “necessary to perform a business purpose.”

Legal experts who spoke to Recode disagreed with Facebook’s interpretation.

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