Keywords:  Security Engineering and Design, Privacy,

2020

Examining The Third-Party Tracking Ecosystem

Serge Egelman, Research Director, International Computer Science Institute, UC Berkeley
Primal Wijesekera, Staff Research Scientist, International Computer Science Institute, UC Berkeley
Ahmad Bashir, Postdoctoral Researcher, International Computer Science Institute, UC Berkeley

Many mobile apps and online services use "third-party trackers," which send data about specific user behaviors to various other companies. The purposes of these transmissions can include profiling individual users to target them with specific ads, amassing personal information to sell to data brokers, or monitoring activities to identify how users interact with a given app, feature, or website. Our prior research suggests that neither consumers nor regulators fully understand the breadth of these data collection practices. Through this follow-up project, we plan to perform a series of experiments to study this ecosystem in depth.