The Princeton Web Transparency and Accountability Project

  title={The Princeton Web Transparency and Accountability Project},
  author={Arvind Narayanan and Dillon Reisman},
When you browse the web, hidden “third parties” collect a large amount of data about your behavior. This data feeds algorithms to target ads to you, tailor your news recommendations, and sometimes vary prices of online products. The network of trackers comprises hundreds of entities, but consumers have little awareness of its pervasiveness and sophistication. This chapter discusses the findings and experiences of the Princeton Web Transparency Project (, which… 

Protecting privacy on the web: A study of HTTPS and Google Analytics implementation in academic library websites

Results indicate that HTTPS implementation on library websites is not widespread, and many libraries continue to offer non-secured connections without an automatically enforced redirect to a secure connection.

Enhancing user transparency in online ads ecosystem with site self-disclosures

A longitudinal study of a new standard gaining importance in the programmatic ads ecosystem, Ads.txt, and uses it to construct a proof-of-concept transparency enhancing technology, informing the user when a website self-discloses participation in the Real-Time Bidding ecosystem.

3PS - Online Privacy through Group Identities

This work challenges the view that broad personal data collection is required to provide personalised services and shows how users can obtain personalised content, while retaining an ability to plausibly deny their interests in topics they regard as sensitive using a system of proxy, group identities the authors call 3PS.

Undoing of Privacy Policies on Facebook

Whether Facebook users really preserve their privacy as they understand it or certain of their innocuous actions leak information contrary to their privacy settings is investigated.

Personal privacy and online systems

Novel technologies allowing users to improve control over their personal privacy are developed which can be readily implemented as practical technologies for privacy threat detection, analysis and privacy defence and validate against data from well-known, real-world online systems.

Security and privacy management in cross-domain tracking systems within an e-marketing context

This research uses a simulated network environment to test, verify and describe information security and privacy vulnerabilities associated with some of the common technologies in use today and describes how privacy can be compromised as individuals and businesses prefer convenience over data protection.

Characterizing the Use of Browser-Based Blocking Extensions To Prevent Online Tracking

It is found that both users and non-users of these extensions only possess a basic understanding of online tracking, and that participants’ mental models only weakly correlate with their behavior to adopt these extensions.

Too little too late: can we control browser fingerprinting?

A somewhat counterintuitive possible new browser identifier is proposed which could make cookies and fingerprint-based tracking redundant and be the first comprehensive and structured discussion of measures to limit or control browser fingerprinting.

Macro and Exogenous Factors in Computational Advertising: Key Issues and New Research Directions

Abstract To advance the emerging research field of computational advertising this article describes the new computational advertising ecosystem, identifies key actors within it and interactions among

Algorithms: how they can reduce competition and harm consumers

  • Business
  • 2021
The Antitrust Law Section and the International Law Section of the American Bar Association (the Sections) appreciate the opportunity to provide their comments on the consultation paper “Algorithms:



XRay: Enhancing the Web's Transparency with Differential Correlation

XRay is developed, the first fine-grained, robust, and scalable personal data tracking system for the Web, which achieves high precision and recall by correlating data from a surprisingly small number of extra accounts.

Third-Party Web Tracking: Policy and Technology

The current policy debate surrounding third-party web tracking is surveyed and the FourthParty web measurement platform is presented, to inform researchers with essential background and tools for contributing to public understanding and policy debates about web tracking.

Privacy leakage vs . Protection measures : the growing disconnect

The growing disconnect between the protection measures and increasing leakage and linkage suggests that the community needs to move beyond the losing battle with aggregators and examine what roles first-party sites can play in protecting privacy of their use rs.

Cookies That Give You Away: The Surveillance Implications of Web Tracking

It is shown that foreign users are highly vulnerable to the NSA's dragnet surveillance due to the concentration of third-party trackers in the U.S. Using measurement units in various locations, this work introduces a methodology that combines web measurement and network measurement.

Shining the Floodlights on Mobile Web Tracking — A Privacy Survey

This first published large-scale study of mobile web tracking is presented, comparing tracking across five physical and emulated mobile devices with one desktop device as a benchmark.

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.

Measuring Price Discrimination and Steering on E-commerce Web Sites

This paper develops a methodology for accurately measuring when price steering and discrimination occur and implements it for a variety of e-commerce web sites, and investigates the effect of user behaviors on personalization.

ReCon: Revealing and Controlling Privacy Leaks in Mobile Network Traffic

ReCon is described, a cross-platform system that reveals PII leaks and gives users control over them without requiring any special privileges or custom OSes, and is implemented in the network using a software middlebox built atop the Meddle platform.

De-anonymizing Web Browsing Data with Social Networks

It is shown---theoretically, via simulation, and through experiments on real user data---that de-identified web browsing histories can be linked to social media profiles using only publicly available data, and is the largest-scale demonstrated de-anonymization to date.

Are You Sure You Want to Contact Us? Quantifying the Leakage of PII via Website Contact Forms

Formlock, a browser extension that warns the user when contact forms are using PII-leaking practices, and provides the ability to comprehensively lock-down a form so that a user’s details cannot be, neither accidentally, nor intentionally, leaked to third parties is designed.