How you're tracked online, and what you can do about it

(FOX News) - Though Facebook gets the attention because of a recent privacy gaffe, the social network is far from alone in collecting massive amounts of data on you to help marketers sell you stuff.

Google, for one, also does extensive tracking to power its advertising engines. And many other websites and apps run ads sold by Facebook and Google and exchange data with them. Beyond that, plenty of services including Uber and Amazon keep detailed histories on you.

Here are some of the ways to block or minimize such tracking -- but they come with trade-offs.


Websites have long used unique IDs in "cookies" -- data files stored in your browser -- to know it's you when you return a week later. Cookies also let advertising networks run by the likes of Facebook and Google connect you as you visit multiple websites. Phones and tablets have a device advertising ID that apps can use to track you.

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