In news that shouldn’t shock anyone after TechRadar Pro reported similar statistics last year, Google’s web trackers have been found to make up half of all the trackers found online.
Analyzing data from security visualisation company Lokker’s latest biannual Online Data Privacy Report (opens in new tab), VPN service Atlas VPN have revealed that out of all of the trackers found on the web, a staggering 49.9% belong to Google alone.
YouTube and Doubleclick, both of which are Google’s businesses, have a 13.8% and 8.3% share of online trackers, respectively. Facebook’s trackers make up 15.7% of online trackers, Microsoft made the list with 6%, while Hotjar, a behavioral analytics tool, has 6.3%.
Storing sensitive data
Internet sites are brimming with trackers – small website elements that track people as they go about their digital business. Various tech companies then use these trackers to create pseudonymous profiles of users and sell them to advertisers.
These profiles are why it would seem that some ads follow you across the vast plains of the internet, and others seem eerily relevant to your interests – even if you’re not logged into a service owned by the tech giants responsible.
All in all, a shocking 93.7% of all online trackers are either from Google, Facebook, or Microsoft.
These trackers are used to follow people’s browsing habits and store IP addresses, as well as other personal information. They help businesses understand how consumers interact with websites and how they make their purchases.
However, there are other privacy threats that can corrupt people’s online safety that large tech companies are leveraging. Session replay scripts, for example, were found on 35% of the websites analyzed.
These scripts record sessions (people’s interactions with a website) to better understand how they behave when they hit a certain page (how long they stay, where they click, how far along they scroll, etc.).
Given that these scripts can also capture personally identifiable information that could make users more prone to identity theft, users should consider measures to block them, such as a secure browser.