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Web tracking is the practice by which operators of websites collect and share information about a particular user's activity on the World Wide Web. Analysis of an individual user's behaviour may be used to provide content that relates to their implied preferences.

MethodsEdit

ControversyEdit

Use of web tracking can be controversial when applied in the context of a private individual; and to varying degrees is subject to legislation such as the EU's eCommerce Directive[1] and the UK's Data Protection Act.[2] When it is done without the knowledge of a user, it may be considered a breach of browser security.

JustificationEdit

In a business-to-business context, understanding a visitor's behaviour in order to identify buying intentions is seen by many commercial organisations as an effective way to target marketing activities.[3] Visiting companies can be approached, both on- and offline, with marketing and sales propositions which are relevant to their current requirements. From the point of view of a sales organisation, engaging with a potential customer when they are actively looking to buy can produce savings in otherwise wasted marketing funds.

PreventionEdit

Contrary to popular belief, browser privacy mode does not prevent (all) tracking attempts because it usually only blocks the storage of information on the visitor site (cookies). It does not help, however, against live data transmissions like the various fingerprinting methods. Such fingerprints can be easily de-anonymized.

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "EU's eCommerce Directive". Ec.europa.eu. Retrieved 2012-08-03.
  2. ^ "UK's Data Protection Act". Opsi.gov.uk. Retrieved 2012-08-03.
  3. ^ "Website visitor tracking going too far?". Prospectvision.net. Retrieved 2012-08-03.

External linksEdit