Your data will be grabbed by Web ‘trackers’

File photo: An illustration picture shows a woman looking at the Facebook website on a computer in Munich February 2, 2012. REUTERS/Michael Dalder

The number of trackers on the Web, your data collection is alarming, according to a study.

At least one tracker was lurking in about 77.4 percent of the tested page is loaded, according to a study conducted by anti-tracking companies Cliqz and Ghostery.

Cliqz, which is owned by Mozilla, the acquired Ghostery earlier this year.


“With the help of a cookie or fingerprinting processes, these trackers tag along as users surf the Web, carefully recording their every move,” according to the summary of the study, through Axios.

The study noted that the data are usually used benignly by companies for statistical and commercial purposes.” That said, the information is collected and picked up by people eventually.

“At first blush, the citizens find it reassuring that their data are collected and processed by faceless companies in place of their next door neighbor,” Jeremy Tillman, director of the product in the Ghostery, told Fox News.

“There are, however, two caveats to this logic,” he added. “First, while your neighbor may not be personally to collect your data, he may very well be the data analyst working at the company that does. In other words, there are different people within each company whose entire job is to analyze, evaluate, and communicate with the user’s data.”

Ten or more trackers that the collection of personal data were found in 21.3 percent of the sites covered by the study.


Google and Facebook are some of the most prominent trackers according to Ghostery.

Google is in the top ten of the most widely used trackers based on the different services that the Internet giant, including Google Analytics and Google Adsense. Facebook is next with three.

Google Analytics is found on almost half of all loaded pages at 46.4 percent, while Facebook Connect is more than a fifth, coming in at 21.9 percent.

Other companies that showed his comScore and Twitter.

And it is not easy to keep tabs on these trackers because many are not installed by the owner of the website, according to Tillman.

“This is largely due to the programmatic advertising…This programmatic ad trackers act as gates for hundreds, if not thousands of other ad trackers, which can be dynamically loaded as advertisers compete for a place on the website,” he said.

“What is shocking about this phenomenon is that web site owners have little to no control over what companies and technologies will eventually be posted on their website,” Tillman added.


The study examined the risks of data collection to the privacy of users, was conducted using anonymous statistics from 850,000 users and, according to Ghostery. More than 144 million pages were examined. The research consisted of more than 12 countries, including the United States, Canada, Great Britain, France, Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

Google and Facebook did not respond to a request for comment from Fox News.

In a related but separate development this week, Google said that it is making an effort for the purification of bad advertising players. The company launched the “Better Ads Experience Program” this week, via VentureBeat.

From Feb. 15, the Google Chrome browser removes all the ads from sites that have a “not” status in the Ad Experience Report for more than 30 days, the company said.

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