Sat. Jun 6th, 2020

Report: 93% of adult websites disclose users browsing data to third parties

1 min read

In a research paper published this week, scholars analyzed 22,484 adult websites and found that 93% of websites leaked data to third parties such as online advertisers or network analysis providers. It is reported that companies that acquire these users’ browsing habits and preferences include: Google, Oracle, Facebook, Cloudflare, and advertisers in the adult industry.

The team identified 22, 484 websites by scanning the titles of Alexa’s top 1 million websites or using the term “pornography” in the metadata, and analyzed their source code to find a privacy policy website. In the end, 3,856 websites with privacy policies were successfully extracted, accounting for only 17% of the total.

Image: Maris et al.

According to the research team’s survey, 74% of the 22, 484 adult websites found Google-related scripts, followed by exoClick (40%), Oracle (24%), and JuicyAds (11%). Facebook (10%). The study also said that 93% of adult websites disclose user data to third parties; 79% have third-party cookies (usually used for tracking); only 17% of websites are encrypted.

One of the worst cases, the researchers said, is that the tracking script records the URL of the page that the user visits on the adult site, which undoubtedly reveals the nature of the content the user is browsing. The study concluded that users should use an ad blocker or any similar technology to protect their privacy when browsing the web.

Via: ZDNet