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Web Census Shows Top Trackers are Google, Facebook, and Twitter

     
11:45 am on May 23, 2016 (gmt 0)

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Steven Englehardt and Arvind Narayanan of Princeton University spent a year investigating web tracking of the top million sites and over 90-million requests, and it discovered that the top trackers were Google, which had several domains, including gstatic, google analytics, and doubleclick in the top three, in addition to google.com. googleapis. Facebook and twitter feature in the top ten.
All of the top 5 third parties, as well as 12 of the top 20, are Google-owned domains. In fact, Google, Facebook, and Twitter are the only third-party entities present on more than 10% of sites. Web Census Shows Top Trackers are Google, Facebook, and Twitter [webtransparency.cs.princeton.edu]

https://webtransparency.cs.princeton.edu/webcensus/top_third_parties.svg

When you look at the different industry sectors, news sites are top of the tracking tree.

https://webtransparency.cs.princeton.edu/webcensus/alexa_stacked.svg

It's really worth reading the report to gauge the extent and depth across sectors, and to get a better understanding of the breadth of user tracking. I know many here that are one side of the fence limit and to block as much tracking as possible, and I know others that utilise tracking.

As a webmaster it's important to understand your audience, but, to what extent is tracking going too far?

The tool used by the researchers is published as open source if you want to investigate canvas fingerprinting.
[github.com...]
9:41 am on May 24, 2016 (gmt 0)

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Gee I wonder if this is one reason for the popularity of AdBlockers?
10:26 am on May 24, 2016 (gmt 0)

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I'm sure most people don't even think of that. It is not going to help if people start waking up to these issues of tracking.
For some time now people have asked me about ads that appear for products and services that they've been viewing. I explained to them, and it was not something they had any idea about, and what to do about it.
10:50 am on May 24, 2016 (gmt 0)

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This is one of the reasons why se don't work as good as they used to. What i did yesterday on the web is not who i am and not related to what i want to do today. More and more i am giving up on finding want i want and just go to a store. Personalized search sucks.
11:55 am on May 24, 2016 (gmt 0)

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Just to throw them off, I often assume random identities.
12:40 pm on May 24, 2016 (gmt 0)

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But they still know whachadidlastsummer.