Vast majority of porn sites track user data, often without telling you

Vast majority of porn sites track user data, often without telling you

Tiffiani Theisen | Orlando Sentinel | Source URL

More than 9 in 10 pornography websites send user data to at least one third party, a new study has found.

Google tracks users on nearly 75% of the porn sites studied by researchers at the University of Pennsylvania.

And going incognito may not always help.

“Even if you’re using a browser with an enhanced privacy setting, like Google Chrome’s incognito mode, you’re still susceptible to online tracking,” according to a summary of the study.

“People often assume that using private browsing modes protects them, but that primarily limits your browsing history from being stored on your personal computer,” said one of the researchers, doctoral candidate Jennifer R. Henrichsen, in a university press release published July 24. “In reality, private browsing modes offer little to no protection against tracking more generally. The ecosystem for tracking is vast and ever-changing, so it is incredibly difficult to truly avoid being tracked online.”

The researchers analyzed over 22,000 porn sites and found 93% of them sent user data to at least one third party.

Many of the sites’ privacy policies — if they even had them — don’t say anything about third-party trackers.

The researchers used special software to identify the presence of the trackers, however, and found “an overwhelming lack of privacy and lack of transparency about privacy on these adult websites.”

In addition to Henrichsen, the study is also authored by Annenberg School for Communication alumni Elena Maris and Timothy Libert.

Read more about the study at the Annenberg School’s website.

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