University of Cambridge > > Computer Laboratory Systems Research Group Seminar > Examining Region-Specific Third-Party Web Tracking Services

Examining Region-Specific Third-Party Web Tracking Services

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Today’s web has a huge, diverse ecosystem of third-party websites collecting information about users and providing them with content such as targeted advertisements. In this paper we study this ecosystem of third-party websites. We sample every continent, targeting the 500 most popular websites in different countries in the world. This allows us to contrast the commonplace, western-dominated views of the web with less studied countries. We find thousands of third-party websites, reflecting the diversity of services and types of application/content they involve, e.g., advertisement, ad trackers, CDNs, news, sport, and pornography. We find those third-party websites offering ad tracking services to be the most prevalent. We then focus on solutions for individuals to regain control of their personal data.

Bio: Hamed is the Lecturer in Digital Media at EECS School in Queen Mary University of London and a Research Scientist at Qatar Computing Research Institute. He is interested in Networked Systems & Social Computing. He enjoys designing and building systems that enable better use of our digital footprint, while respecting users’ privacy. He is also broadly interested in sensing applications and Human-Data Interaction. He is currently serving as the Information Services Director for the ACM SIGCOMM Executive Committee.

This talk is part of the Computer Laboratory Systems Research Group Seminar series.

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