Sunday, December 2, 2007

How to Block Facebook's Beacon Reporting

This information comers from Check out the site for the visuals connected to the steps. While users can decline sending out the advertising, Facebook does not allow users to opt out of the data collection and behavior monitoring.[3][4] Even if you opt out, click "no thanks", and log out of Facebook, Beacon will still be surreptitiously collecting your web browsing behavior data and sending it to Facebook. [5][6]

For some users of Facebook, this sort of information sharing causes privacy concerns. To make matters worse, there's no way to block Beacon in Internet Explorer (see Tips).[7] Fortunately, an easy-to-install add-on for the Firefox browser can block Beacon from collecting any data about you. Follow these simple steps to ensure your private information remains private.

  1. Install the Firefox browser if you do not already have it.
  2. Install the BlockSite extension from the Mozilla website. You can also use the popular Adblock plus extensions.
    • Scroll down the page and click on the green Install Now button. Firefox may try to block the installation; if so you will see a yellow bar appear at top of your browser window with text "Firefox prevented this site ( from asking you to install software on your computer." If you see this message, click on the Edit Options... button on the right side of the yellow bar and a small pop-out window will appear.

    • Click on the "Allow" button on the pop-out window to add this site to the list of sites you permit to install addons.

    • Close the pop out window by clicking on the red circle in the upper left corner.
    • Click on the green Install Now button on the Mozilla Add-ons web page a second time. Another small window will appear.
    • Click on the blue button in the new window to install the BlockSite extension.
    • Restart Firefox once this extension has been installed to complete the process and enable BlockSite.
  3. Click on the Firefox "Tools" menu and select Add-ons (the tools menu is located at the top of your screen next to the Bookmarks menu).
  4. Click on Extensions, then on Blocksite, and then on "Options" (for Windows) or Preferences (for Mac).

  5. Click on the Add button in the Options/Preferences window.

  6. Type this URL in the small box that pops up "http*://**" and then click on the OK button.

  7. Check Options/Preferences window to make sure that the beacon URL shows in the Locations window.
  8. Click OK at the bottom of the window to complete the block.


  • Be sure to enter the asterisks as shown after http, before the word "facebook" in the URL and after the /. These are wildcards that tell the extension to include different iterations of like https://, etc.
  • Even if you do not opt to share this information on your news feed, the system still collects personal information about you unless you block it.[8]
  • If you decide to opt out, this information will not be shared with your friends. However, you will have to opt out of Beacon's notification system for each company that participates in the system.[9]
  • In Internet Explorer, there's no way to block Facebook Beacon without blocking all content from Facebook.[10]
Opera users can go to Tools > Advanced > Blocked Content and add the same URL given above to block Beacon.[11]

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