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Study: User Online Tracking Escalating



10:55 am on Oct 12, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Study: User Online Tracking Escalating [blogs.reuters.com]
Are you being tracked right now? If you thought you were just browsing aimlessly, doing a little shopping or checking sports scores without identifying yourself, you could be mistaken about your level of privacy.

A new study from a Stanford University researcher has found that a lot of the little bits and pieces of supposedly anonymous data being deposited by your web browser are actually being gathered and reassembled by dozens of companies and sold. And stopping that from happening takes more than a little bit of effort, helped by a growing movement for “do not track” legislation.

Report [cyberlaw.stanford.edu...]


12:07 pm on Oct 12, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Are you being tracked right now?

Yep. On this page alone are three trackers.

Google Analytics
Google +

Information collected: browser information, time/date, web requests, IP address, mobile carrier, page views, referring URLs, PII (device and application IDs)

Twitter's policy: Anonymous and aggregate data is shared with third parties.


1:28 pm on Oct 12, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Are you being tracked right now?

Nope. On this site :
WebmasterWorld : lastvisitinfo
WebmasterWorld : PubConSouth2011

all the rest is blocked and is on all other sites.


1:58 pm on Oct 12, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

I installed Adblock Plus recently and the filter is filling up daily.

I don't get it why webmasters clutter up their websites with third party code, widgets and analytics and don't give a damn about the privacy of their users anymore. This will backfire some day and this day is near in my opinion. The EU has already passed an "Anti Cookie directive".

I also use third party widgets, but I cache them and serve them from my own server. I don't see any reason why I should let another company spy on my users and especially let it slow down website speed. And I use anlytics tools I have on my own server and don't pass the data on to Google or other providers.


4:39 pm on Oct 23, 2011 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

I feel exactly the same way as jecasc, and here in Italy general awareness is definitely growing.
We also got rid of Google Analytics for the same reason and switched to Piwik, but we still stuck with one third party widget - Addthis, which seems to be even worse than most with third party marketing services clogging up the page.
jecasc - do you mind sharing the names of any alternatives you've found? Or PM if you or the mods prefer,


7:52 pm on Oct 23, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

If you want to use third party tools you can integrate them so they only load when users actually want to use them.

Here in Germany the facebook like button is very controversial and more and more websites only include like - and other buttons - in a two click version. First click load the button with an Ajax call, second click does the action.

Here some background information:

Here the code (unfortunately german documentation only):

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