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Google And Facebook Are Tracking People On Porn Sites

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Because nothing is sacred anymore, a new study found that tech companies are now also spying on you when you’re just trying to enjoy some pornography. Adult Problems Researchers scanned 22,484 pornography websites for a New Media & Society paper, and found that 93% of the websites they visited sent data to an average of seven third-party domains. The researchers found that Google had trackers on 74% of the porn sites they visited, the software company Oracle showed up on 24% of sites and Facebook, which famously bans nudity on its site, had trackers on 10% of the sites. The study also found that only 17% of the sites they visited were encrypted, which leaves the rest vulnerable to data hacking, and that visitors to most sex sites have no way of knowing if they will be tracked. Cookie Mountain Having your data tracked across the internet is one of those practices we’ve all gotten used to; it is why if you search for running shoes, you’ll likely see ads for, say, Nike on the sites you visit. You get these personalized ads because most websites embed third-party tracking tracking codes or cookies, often from Google subsidiaries like DoubleClick and Google Analytics, in order to harvest data for advertising and other business purposes. Sex Sells It is unclear why Facebook and Google might be tracking porn sites, except maybe tracking is just what they do. Both companies, which ban or limit adult content on many of their platforms, denied they used information gathered by their trackers to create personalized advertising. Suffice to say, plenty of shareholders are already mad at Facebook but for its lax attitude to privacy, and this news isn’t going to help. -Michael Tedder Photo: ADOBE {GOOGL,FB, NASDAQ}

Because nothing is sacred anymore, a new study found that tech companies are now also spying on you when you’re just trying to enjoy some pornography. Adult Problems Researchers scanned 22,484 pornography websites for a New Media & Society paper, and found that 93% of the websites they visited sent data to an average of seven third-party domains. The researchers found that Google had trackers on 74% of the porn sites they visited, the software company Oracle showed up on 24% of sites and Facebook, which famously bans nudity on its site, had trackers on 10% of the sites. The study also found that only 17% of the sites they visited were encrypted, which leaves the rest vulnerable to data hacking, and that visitors to most sex sites have no way of knowing if they will be tracked. Cookie Mountain Having your data tracked across the internet is one of those practices we’ve all gotten used to; it is why if you search for running shoes, you’ll likely see ads for, say, Nike on the sites you visit. You get these personalized ads because most websites embed third-party tracking tracking codes or cookies, often from Google subsidiaries like DoubleClick and Google Analytics, in order to harvest data for advertising and other business purposes. Sex Sells It is unclear why Facebook and Google might be tracking porn sites, except maybe tracking is just what they do. Both companies, which ban or limit adult content on many of their platforms, denied they used information gathered by their trackers to create personalized advertising. Suffice to say, plenty of shareholders are already mad at Facebook but for its lax attitude to privacy, and this news isn’t going to help. -Michael Tedder Photo: ADOBE {GOOGL,FB, NASDAQ}