Thanks to the Internet, modern lingo updates itself at the speed of light. Basic words pop up like weeds, and by the time you finally pick them up, you realize that even more concepts have emerged, creating entirely new sentences that make sense in another context. I will not come Case in point: “Cookies are tracking your every click and reporting back on your browsing history.”
It may seem strange at first; After all, in the real world, baked goods aren’t going to be able to spy on you. But on the Internet, “cookies” is another term for the little trackers that advertising companies and data brokers use to watch everything you do online. When you accept cookies from a website, tap or click here to understand what you are signing up for.
Third-party cookies are so generalized that some of the largest websites you visit may use them. Even worse, some websites will follow you after you leave; They will also take note of everything you do on other websites. Here are some of the biggest offenders you need to keep an eye on.
Here’s the backstory
Although companies have used cookies to follow you on the web for years, Google is planning a new way to track you. Not long ago, Google said that it would end its third-party cookies in Chrome by 2022. It announced a new tracking system called Flowsy, which stands for Federated Learning of Cohorts.
Basically, FOC runs in your browser and rifles through your weekly activity. It puts your user data in the browser and then puts you in a group of people with a similar history. These groups are called “cohorts”. You are assigned to new groups every week based on what you saw last week.
The whole point is to give you more anonymity. Google says its peers will have a ton of people, making it harder for third parties to identify you — but it’s also good enough for ad targeting. This is a big change, and it requires a lot of careful work.
Back in June, Google pushed back the Flowsy release date to mid-2023. When the cohort feature finally hits, however, it could revolutionize the way companies track your data. In light of this announcement, a new study by pCloud has uncovered the internet’s most offensive websites. Researchers analyzed 88 websites to identify the websites that track you the most. According to pCloud, these websites follow you the most:
That’s right: Although Google plans to change the way it tracks you, right now, it’s collecting a load of data on your browsing habits. Tap or click here to see and delete what Google tracks about you.
Research reveals that Google uses some of the “most prevalent cross-site trackers on the Internet”
According to the study, the tech giant has seven ubiquitous cross-site trackers. Analyzing 88 popular websites, the researchers visited these trackers 262 times. Chief among them was doubleclick.net, which popped up on 70 websites.
Basically, this unique tracker lets online advertisers and publishers display ads on various websites. So if you’ve ever been the victim of the same obnoxious ad, no matter what website you’re on, this tracker could be the culprit.
Advertisers love doubleclick.net because it gives them the freedom to control how often a browser sees this ad as well as how long it is shown. Click here for more information on how it works.
It’s no surprise that Google reigns supreme when it comes to tracking. But some of the study’s other findings may surprise you.
We talked about the sites that collect your data the most. Here are the sites that share your data the most
Some of these seem like they are out of left field. For example, British news site The Sun was ranked as the worst privacy invader ever. (It uses 31 cross-site trackers to share users’ private data with companies.)
If you’re sick and tired of being tracked, we’ve got some Google alternatives you might like. Now, instead of sharing your entire personal life with one company, you can easily switch to a more privacy-friendly browser. Tap or click for the best sites you can use instead of Google.