Your Porn-Viewing Habits Are Being Tracked by Facebook & Google
If you think watching pornographic material in the "incognito" mode will not let anyone know, you are mistaken.
Google, Facebook and even Oracle cloud are secretly tracking the porn you watch even when you switch on the "incognito" mode on your laptop or smartphone.
A new joint study from Microsoft, Carnegie Mellon University and University of Pennsylvania that investigated 22,484 sex websites using a tool called "webXray" revealed that 93 percent of pages track and leak users' data to third-party organisations."Tracking on these sites is highly concentrated by a handful of major companies," said the researchers who identified 230 different companies and services tracking users in their sample.
Of non-pornography-specific services, Google tracks 74 percent of sites, Oracle 24 percent and Facebook 10 percent.
Porn-specific trackers in the top 10 are exoClick (40 percent), JuicyAds (11 percent), and EroAdvertising (9 percent).
"The majority of non-pornography companies in the top 10 are based in the US, while the majority of pornography-specific companies are based in Europe," said the study.
The researchers - Elena Maris, Microsoft Research; Timothy Libert, Carnegie Mellon University; and Jennifer Henrichsen, University of Pennsylvania - said they successfully extracted privacy policies for 3,856 sites, 17 per cent of the total.
The team created a hypothetical profile named "Jack" who decides to view porn on his laptop.