Third-party web tracking: Policy and technology

Jonathan R. Mayer, John C. Mitchell

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

228 Scopus citations

Abstract

In the early days of the web, content was designed and hosted by a single person, group, or organization. No longer. Webpages are increasingly composed of content from myriad unrelated ̈third-partÿ websites in the business of advertising, analytics, social networking, and more. Third-party services have tremendous value: they support free content and facilitate web innovation. But third-party services come at a privacy cost: researchers, civil society organizations, and policymakers have increasingly called attention to how third parties can track a user's browsing activities across websites. This paper surveys the current policy debate surrounding third-party web tracking and explains the relevant technology. It also presents the FourthParty web measurement platform and studies we have conducted with it. Our aim is to inform researchers with essential background and tools for contributing to public understanding and policy debates about web tracking.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings - 2012 IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy, S and P 2012
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Pages413-427
Number of pages15
ISBN (Print)9780769546810
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2012
Externally publishedYes
Event33rd IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy, S and P 2012 - San Francisco, CA, United States
Duration: May 21 2012May 23 2012

Publication series

NameProceedings - IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy
ISSN (Print)1081-6011

Other

Other33rd IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy, S and P 2012
CountryUnited States
CitySan Francisco, CA
Period5/21/125/23/12

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Software

Keywords

  • Do Not Track
  • Web privacy
  • third-party tracking

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  • Cite this

    Mayer, J. R., & Mitchell, J. C. (2012). Third-party web tracking: Policy and technology. In Proceedings - 2012 IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy, S and P 2012 (pp. 413-427). [6234427] (Proceedings - IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy). Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.. https://doi.org/10.1109/SP.2012.47