So if I go to a website (like www.groupon.com) I get a section of the webpage which tells me the names of some of my Facebook friends who "liked" this site and offers a button that has the Facebook "f" and the label "connect".

What information is being shared with groupon.com? Is this sharing of information something I can disable in facebook?

In my Facebook Privacy Settings, "Enable instant personalization on partner websites." is unchecked which I thought prevented sites like Groupon from getting my Facebook information. What am I missing?

2 Answers 2



No information (pertaining to your Facebook content) is being shared from you to GroupOn. Information is being shared from your friends via a Facebook Plugin to you.

GroupOn is using an iFrame that contains a plugin from Facebook called FacePile. So, GroupOn does not have your information. As described later on in "What information is being shared with groupon.com?" and real estate. It is showing you and you alone what other friends are doing in relation to this site. These friends have connected to GroupOn's Facebook application via the Facebook Connect plugin.

This information was posted on Facebook's Blog earlier this year with some merges and summaries made to fit your case.

What information is being shared with groupon.com?

None of your information—your name or profile information, what you like, who your friends are, what they have liked, what they recommend—is shared with the sites you visit with a plugin. Because they have given Facebook this "real estate" on their sites [At a technical level, social plugins work when external websites put an iframe from Facebook.com on their site], they do not receive or interact with the information that is contained or transmitted there. Similarly, no personal information about your actions is provided to advertisers on Facebook.com or on the other site.

While these buttons and boxes appear on other websites, the content populating them comes directly from Facebook. The plugins were designed so that the website you are visiting receives none of this information. These plugins should be seen as an extension of Facebook.

Is this sharing of information something I can disable in facebook?

You should consider the likes and recommendations you choose to make to be public information, much like when you comment or write a review on any website today or connect with a public Facebook Page.

Depending on the connection you made, you can remove a connection completely either by going to the "Info" tab of your profile and editing your "Likes and Interests," or by returning to the web page where you liked something and unliking it.

Likes and Recommendations made on other sites become publicly available information, similar to a public comment on a website. Only click the Like or Recommend buttons if you want to share your likes and recommendations publicly.

In my Facebook Privacy Settings, "Enable instant personalization on partner websites." is unchecked which I thought prevented sites like Groupon from getting my Facebook information. What am I missing?

Only an exclusive set of partners—Microsoft Docs.com, Pandora and Yelp offer personalized experiences as soon as you visit those services. These partners have been given access to public information on Facebook—such as names, friend lists and interests and likes—to personalize your experience when you're logged into Facebook and visit their sites.

When you first visit any of these three partner sites while logged into Facebook, you'll see a blue bar appear at the top of the site letting you know that your experience is being personalized. You can learn more about it, remove the personalized experience or click "x" to remove the bar.

For the full run down visit Facebook Blog : Answers to Your Questions on Personalized Web Tools

  • I've been trying to figure this out. The posts from phwd (#1) does NOT tell you what happens when you or one of your friends "Like" / "Recommend" a page. It only tells you what happens when you visit a page with FB's content on it (and #3 is correct) However, it doesn't state that there isn't any information sharing going on (either through the user's browser, or through some backend link).
    – user12973
    Aug 25, 2011 at 16:50
  • I have added the relevant information for you. This is not a Like/Recommend that is going on here. It is Facebook's Connect plugin. The information is being shared via the FacePile plugin. This a connection between you and the plugin. GroupOn cannot see your content.
    – phwd
    Aug 25, 2011 at 17:47
  • @phwd: "No information is being shared from you to GroupOn": I think you meant that no personally identifiable info about you is shared by FB to GroupOn. Of course you are sharing information with GroupOn just by visiting their site, such as IP address and browser, and other info they can get via JavaScript like screen size, and more if you register. But I think even more significant, and something that FB tries to divert attention from, is that FB will know about all your visits not only to GroupOn but every other site you visit that uses FB social plugins. That is a lot of info about you.
    – mark4o
    Aug 25, 2011 at 18:40
  • @mark4o yes, when I mean information, I mean in the context of Facebook. The question asked about information being shared with GroupOn not Facebook as given in the section What information is being shared with groupon.com? and from the information I just provided. If you were to go to the same site incognito or not logged in to Facebook. Then you are not seeing anything shared with you.
    – phwd
    Aug 25, 2011 at 19:09

Most of the Facebook things load in an iframe embedded on the page. So, groupon.com doesn't get any information about you having visited their site, but Facebook (of course) knows that you visited it. Does that make sense?

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