Hackers Choice

Watching Porn In Incognito? Google, Facebook Still Know Your Secrets: Study

Watching Porn In Incognito? Google, Facebook Still Know Your Secrets: Study

By Yashdeep Raj •  2019-07-19T07:33:59.279Z •  General


When it comes to whether or not a user is being tracked on the web, the answer is yes, and this even includes the various pornographic websites a user visits.

According to a study, various major tech companies such as Google, Facebook, and Oracle can track users when they visit a porn website, even if such websites are browsed using incognito mode.

The study was conducted by researchers from Microsoft, Carnegie Mellon and the University of Pennsylvania.

Trackers On Websites

Several websites have trackers and third-party codes that allow them to track a user’s browsing habits, interests, and more, without users knowing about it. This could be done for either targeted advertising or for non-advertising services. However, users definitely don’t like being tracked.

Users Getting Tracked On Porn Sites

The study involved research on 22,484 porn sites with the help of a tool known as webXray. It is an open-source software for analyzing third-party data on websites to identify the companies that collect user data.

It suggests that around 93% of the 22,484 websites have been found leaking user data. Additionally, Google accounted for 74% of trackers, Facebook 10%, and Oracle has 24% of trackers, giving out user data to around seven third-party sites.

The tool loads a particular web page on the Chrome browser and analyzes all the network traffic during the load time. This process will help in figuring out what all user data has been exposed by third parties.

In addition to this, another tool called policyXray was used by the researchers to track the privacy policies of the websites and found that users tend to give permission to get tracked, due to factors such as their inability to read the policies.

What Data Was Compromised?

The study suggests that tracking abilities by tech majors on porn sites can leak sensitive user data such as a user’s gender, sexual identity/orientation, gender performance, content related to sex, or interests. 

Perhaps porn site tracking and the fact that porn watching leads to millions of tons of carbon emissions might give users a reason to not watch it, or maybe not!

The idea is to remain safe on the internet by trying not to fall prey to such tactics.

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