The Wall Street Journal reports on moves by Web sites to restrict the tracking of visitors, some because of privacy concerns, others so the companies can keep the consumer data for their own targeted behavioral advertising use.
More sites are counting the number of tracking tools—software that can clandestinely monitor people’s activities online—that are being installed on the computers of people who visit the sites.
A few sites have dropped companies that install tracking tools, due to practices they consider intrusive. Other Internet publishers want to sell more ads themselves, relying less on online ad networks that install tracking software.
Many Web publishers are finding that tracking software is operating on their sites without their knowledge. Some worry they are missing out on an opportunity, since others are profiting by selling data about the sites’ users for ad-targeting purposes. Sites are also worried outsiders may gain access to sensitive information about their visitors, raising privacy alarms. […]
The Huffington Post site recently removed technology from ad firm Lotame Inc. after The Wall Street Journal reported that Lotame was analyzing comments on the site. A spokesman for Lotame declined to comment. […]
A new study by technology start-up Krux Digital Inc. found that nearly a third of the tracking tools on 50 popular U.S. websites were installed by companies that gained access to the site without the publisher’s permission.
On average, visiting a single page on those sites resulted in 10 trackers being installed or updated on the visitor’s computer. Krux found some pages installed or updated 40 trackers.