Corpus ID: 198985882

Clash of the Trackers: Measuring the Evolution of the Online Tracking Ecosystem

  title={Clash of the Trackers: Measuring the Evolution of the Online Tracking Ecosystem},
  author={K. Solomos and Panagiotis Ilia and S. Ioannidis and Nicolas Kourtellis},
Websites are constantly adapting the methods used, and intensity with which they track online visitors. However, the wide-range enforcement of GDPR since one year ago (May 2018) forced websites serving EU-based online visitors to eliminate or at least reduce such tracking activity, given they receive proper user consent. Therefore, it is important to record and analyze the evolution of this tracking activity and assess the overall "privacy health" of the Web ecosystem and if it is better after… Expand
Multi-country Study of Third Party Trackers from Real Browser Histories
This paper aims to understand how third-party ecosystems have developed in four different countries: UK, China, AU, US, and suggests that studies which rely solely on Alexa top ranked websites may be over estimating the power of third parties. Expand
User Tracking in the Post-cookie Era: How Websites Bypass GDPR Consent to Track Users
This paper explores whether websites use more persistent and sophisticated forms of tracking in order to track users who said they do not want cookies, and suggests that websites do use such modern forms oftracking even before users had the opportunity to register their choice with respect to cookies. Expand
You Shall Not Register! Detecting Privacy Leaks Across Registration Forms
This work designs and implements a scalable and easily replicable methodology, for detecting and filling registration forms in an automated way, and shows that a number of websites leak PIIs to 3rd-Party trackers without any user’s consent, in a non-transparent fashion. Expand
Unaccounted Privacy Violation: A Comparative Analysis of Persistent Identification of Users Across Social Contexts
Cross-contexts inference about individuals is central to the profiling and targeting capacities of the online advertising industry. Advertisers identify moments of vulnerability, in part, by drawingExpand
European Privacy Law and Global Markets for Data
We demonstrate how privacy law interacts with competition and trade policy in the context of the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). We follow more than 110,000 websites for 18 monthsExpand
Operationalizing the Legal Principle of Data Minimization for Personalization
It is found that the performance decrease incurred by data minimization might not be substantial, but that it might disparately impact different users---a finding which has implications for the viability of different formal minimization definitions. Expand
Computer Security: ESORICS 2019 International Workshops, IOSec, MSTEC, and FINSEC, Luxembourg City, Luxembourg, September 26–27, 2019, Revised Selected Papers
This technical survey intends to reveal the pillars of today’s cybersecurity market, as well as identify emerging trends, key players and functional aspects that will allow all interested parties to optimize the design process of a contemporary and future-proof cybersecurity framework for end-to-end protection. Expand
From WHOIS to WHOWAS: A Large-Scale Measurement Study of Domain Registration Privacy under the GDPR
This dissertation aims to provide a history of Chinese information science and technology from 1989 to 2002, a period chosen in order to explore its roots as well as specific cases up to and including the year in which descriptions of “lost time” began to circulate. Expand
Climate Finance and Green Bond Evolution: Informing Policy with Machine Learning Text Analytics
Explores the evolution of themes associated with climate finance and green bonds to identify opportunities to enhance public-private cooperation and facilitate policymaking.


Can I Opt Out Yet?: GDPR and the Global Illusion of Cookie Control
It is found that the GDPR has impacted website behavior in a truly global way, both directly and indirectly: USA-based websites behave similarly to EU-based ones, while third-party opt-out services reduce the amount of tracking even for websites which do not put any effort in respecting the new law. Expand
Internet Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Trackers: An Archaeological Study of Web Tracking from 1996 to 2016
It is discovered that third- party tracking on the web has increased in prevalence and complexity since the first third-party tracker that was observed in 1996, and the spread of the most popular trackers to an increasing percentage of themost popular sites on the internet. Expand
Tracking Personal Identifiers Across the Web
The connections amongst all parties of the Web are explored, especially focusing on how trackers share user IDs, finding a significant amount of ID-sharing practices across different organisations providing various service categories. Expand
Stop tracking me Bro! Differential Tracking of User Demographics on Hyper-Partisan Websites
This paper systematically study how personas are being tracked by hyper-partisan websites and their third parties, especially if they exhibit particular demographic properties, and finds that right-leaning websites tend to track users more intensely than left-leaning, depending on user demographics, using both cookies and cookie synchronization methods and leading to more costly delivered ads. Expand
Like a Pack of Wolves: Community Structure of Web Trackers
This paper leverages the insight that fundamental requirements for trackers’ success can be used as discriminating features for tracker detection to build robust, fully automated online privacy preservation systems. Expand
Online Tracking: A 1-million-site Measurement and Analysis
The largest and most detailed measurement of online tracking conducted to date, based on a crawl of the top 1 million websites, is presented, which demonstrates the OpenWPM platform's strength in enabling researchers to rapidly detect, quantify, and characterize emerging online tracking behaviors. Expand
Detecting and Defending Against Third-Party Tracking on the Web
This work develops a client-side method for detecting and classifying five kinds of third-party trackers based on how they manipulate browser state, and finds that no existing browser mechanisms prevent tracking by social media sites via widgets while still allowing those widgets to achieve their utility goals, which leads to a new defense. Expand
The Unwanted Sharing Economy: An Analysis of Cookie Syncing and User Transparency under GDPR
The new regulation has a statistically significant impact on the number of connections between third-parties, which shrinks by around 40%, and the right to data portability is analyzed by evaluating the subject access right process of popular companies in this ecosystem. Expand
The Web Never Forgets: Persistent Tracking Mechanisms in the Wild
The evaluation of the defensive techniques used by privacy-aware users finds that there exist subtle pitfalls --- such as failing to clear state on multiple browsers at once - in which a single lapse in judgement can shatter privacy defenses. Expand
A Privacy Analysis of Cross-device Tracking
It is shown that the similarity of IP addresses and Internet history for a user’s devices gives rise to a matching rate of F-1 = 0.91 for connecting a mobile to a desktop device in the authors' dataset, which is especially noteworthy in light of the increase in learning power that cross-device companies may achieve by leveraging user data from more than one device. Expand