"Google Analytics was used by over 71 per cent of the domains. Google AdSense was used by over 35 per cent. And Google DoubleClick was used by over 26 per cent."
Heading should have been googles eyeballs on 132% pf website
A new privacy study says that Google-controlled web bugs are tracking users on 92 of the net's top 100 sites and about 88 per cent of almost 400,000 other domains. Using a Firefox browser plug-in called Ghostery, three graduate students in the School of Information at the University of California, Berkeley recently examined …
I block google-analytics.com as well. I guess quite a few of us in the industry do and it would be interesting to know how much that affects the stats collected. At least for certain subgroups.
Interesting that The Reg also uses google-analytics.com. Perhaps there's a message there somewhere.
Oh please, they aggregate the sites visited to target their adverts. Saying the cookie is different so they cannot aggregate is a fat lie. They have the IP address right there, at the back end they can cross link it however they want and have already said what they do with it.
They have also already admitted to be able to retrieve the searches made for any given IP address.
And their privacy director gives deceptive answers to questions like he doesn't know or more likely wants to mislead.
THE FIX: TOnline in Germany change the IP address assigned to each user every night at about 2am. That is the fix to prevent IP address tracking. Setting firefox to only accept cookies from the site visited, and remove them on closing the browser is another fix. Going into the hosts file and blocking the analytics sites (all of them) is another essential.
I'm paranoid about these idiotic tracking cookies. Its a shame that companies like Google have to make the net irritating, especially when simply turning off cookies, even third party cookies, makes it impossible to log into legitimate websites. Opera has a nice feature that lets you accept or decline cookies, and remember to accept or decline for that domain in the future. Its a pain in the ass but it beats accepting tracking cookies from the likes of Zedo, Google, and Doubleclick.
They didn't mean all of those services together, a site can use AdSense AND Google Analytics, etc...
...that I AdBlock/NoScript the hell out of this stuff. I can see perfectly good reasons of a site to want to know about my return (e.g. shopping cart) and I have no real issue with them using their data to pick an add (you bought a torch, would you like batteries?)
But aggregation across sites just raises way, way too many privacy concerns. The browser session may be shared with others, for example, do you want ads for STD services appearing when a pal borrows the PC? No.
And that's just the simple example. Data mining, profiling etc would make it perfectly feasible to identify you as an individual. And what protections would their be against abuse? None really. You'd have HMRC scanning your record on Amazon and then fining you as the amount of your purchases did not match your tax return or something.
Given the threat such web bugs pose, will El Reg be dropping Google Analytics etc?
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