In what will likely be seen as yet another intrusion into the privacy of its users, Facebook (FB) is testing software that would enable the capture of data on areas of the site in which your cursor moves.
The social media giant would be able to see which how long a user’s cursor hovers over certain areas of the site, whether or not that person clicks on a link or button.
While Facebook said the move would help with future product design, it would also better enable advertisers to target users with content (via the Wall Street Journal).
Facebook collects two kinds of data, demographic and behavioral. The demographic data—such as where a user lives or went to school—documents a user’s life beyond the network. The behavioral data—such as one’s circle of Facebook friends, or “likes”—is captured in real time on the network itself.
The ongoing tests would greatly expand the behavioral data that is collected, according to Facebook analytics chief Ken Rudin. The tests are ongoing and part of a broader technology testing program, but Facebook should know within months whether it makes sense to incorporate the new data collection into the business, he said.
The social media giant has in the past faced an onslaught of user complaints for trying to balance the privacy needs of its users and a need to help sell advertisers on its site.