Some time ago, Facebook got involved in a new scandal. The hype was based around the fact that HTTP cookies saved by Facebook on users’ computers remained there even after they logged out of the social network, thus casting a shadow of suspicion on it developers and created an impression that they could be monitoring users’ activities on other sites.
On September 25, Facebook officials sent a statement to major mass media assuring the public that they were not monitoring users’ activities on other websites.
However, on September 22, the US Patent and Trademarks Office received a patent application for a technology that made it possible to track user’s actions outside a social network.
It’s clear that “to patent” does not equal “to use”, but hardly anybody can guarantee that the social network will not get such functionality in the future.