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Open Source Authors: Liz McMillan, Yeshim Deniz, Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White, Jnan Dash

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Adblock Plus Offers Oasis from Facebook’s Latest Tracking Experiment

Adblock Plus, the #1 most popular browser extension for blocking annoying online advertisements, today announced that users can stop Facebook’s unrequested tracking by activating a special block list that has grown by 70 percent in the past year.

Facebook last week boasted to the advertising community that it will be using the hidden tracking pixels in its ubiquitous ‘Like’ button to track users everywhere across the web – even outside of Facebook pages – in order to re-target ads. The new tracking method actually ignores users’ Do Not Track preference settings (the browser setting where users can choose “ask websites to not track me”), and can even track users’ browsing and activities after they have logged out of Facebook.

Adblock Plus is advising users concerned about the move to turn on its Social Media Tracking Blocker feature that blocks Facebook and other social networks’ latest tracking methods. Adblock Plus just added the feature in July of 2013. The special blocking list, which provides the backbone of the feature, now thwarts 6,786 different trackers, an increase of around 70 percent from a year ago.

“Do people really want Facebook to know what medical supplies they're shopping for, what online services they like or that they enjoy reading, say, self-help articles?" asked Till Faida, co-founder of Adblock Plus. "Many of them may not. So while tracking can be useful if done correctly, users need a way to say ‘no.’ That is why we offer an easy, permanent solution."

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Adblock Plus is a free download for mobile users on Android, and a free browser ad-on for Safari, Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, and Opera.

About Adblock Plus

Adblock Plus is an open source project that aims to rid the Internet of annoying and intrusive online advertising. Its free web browser extensions (add-ons) put users in control by letting them block or filter which ads they want to see. Users across the world have downloaded Adblock Plus over 300 million times. It has remained the most downloaded and the most used extension almost continuously since November 2006. In 2013 PC Magazine listed the extension as one of the best free Google Chrome extensions, and it received a 2013 About.com readers’ choice award for best privacy/security add-on.

Follow Adblock Plus on Twitter at @AdblockPlus and read our blogs at http://adblockplus.org/blog/. Media press kit with FAQ, images and company statistics is available at: https://eyeo.com/en/press.

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