A new report out of U.C. Berkeley finds that despite privacy policies, a number of companies and online services are enjoying loopholes in order to gather information from users. The San Francisco Business Times reports:
Using trackers called “web bugs,” third parties collect user data from many popular web sites, and sites often allow this, even though their privacy policies say they don’t share user data with others.
“Web bugs from Google and its subsidiaries were found on 92 of the top 100 Web sites and 88 percent of the approximately 400,000 unique domains examined in the study,” the authors found.
Sites with the most web bugs were for blogging — blogspot and typepad were No. 1 and No. 2 on the list in March, and blogger was No. 4. Google itself was No. 3.
Online advertising depends on a certain amount of user information. But as the advertising medium matures, the only privacy fight is only going to become more intense.