The study revealed that 45% of the top 185 websites in the US has been transmitting private information of visitors to four different websites.
London, United Kingdon (PRWEB UK) 22 November 2011
Website Marketplace has expressed concern regarding the latest web privacy study released earlier in the week. The study revealed that 45% of the top 185 websites in the US has been transmitting private information of visitors to four different websites.
According to a spokesperson for Website Marketplace, this new study is something to worry about particularly for companies such as theirs that sell and buy websites. Whether it will have a direct impact on the business remains to be seen.
The study conducted by Jonathan Mayer – a PhD student at Stanford University – showed that the data primarily transmitted was the username or the user ID (the name an individual uses to log into a certain website).
However, there are cases wherein the website transmitted more personal information about the user. The research found that OKCupid, an online dating website, sent their users’ details such as gender, age, zip code, relationship status and ‘drug use frequency’ to BlueKai and Lotame. These are companies that sell personal data in auctions.
While Lotame did confirm that it has a data licensing relationship with OKCupid, it denied using the data that pertains to ‘drug use.’ BlueKai also told technological magazine Digits that it does not buy or sell data such as ‘drug frequency use’ from OKCupid. A spokesperson for BlueKai added that they do “capture standard demographic attributes like zip, age and gender from several publishers.”
It is still unclear how many companies did receive the data and used the information to their advantage. According to Mayer, what the study proves is that online tracking is not anonymous as many people think it is.
About Website Marketplace: Website Marketplace is a company that provides services such as buying and selling websites. The transactions are made in a safe and controlled environment.