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Google and Facebook know when user sees porn on other sites | Security

Companies like Google and Facebook track user activity on adult content pages. So says a study by Microsoft, Carnegie Mellon and the University of Pennsylvania, released last week. After analyzing 22,484 pornographic sites, they conclude that 93% of them leak data to third parties, even when accessing in browser anonymous mode. While companies have denied the use of this information for advertising purposes, researchers warn of the vulnerability of intimate user information.

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45% of porn sites suggest the nature of user-accessed content, says survey Photo: Pond545% of porn sites suggest the nature of user-accessed content, says survey Photo: Pond5

45% of porn sites suggest the nature of user-accessed content, says survey Photo: Pond5

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According to the study's authors, visitors to pornographic websites have a fundamentally misleading sense of privacy. This is because only 17% of these pages use encryption, that is, most of them are highly vulnerable and allow the interception of the user account.

It is also noteworthy that the browser anonymous mode, commonly used to consume such content, only ensures that the history of access is not stored on the computer, but does not prevent the tracking of information by third parties.

Of the 22,484 sites reviewed, 45% of them reviewed or suggested the nature of the content, revealing the main topics of interest to the user and even their gender preferences. According to the researchers, the leakage of this data represents a unique and high risk, especially for homosexuals and women. These risks are greater for vulnerable populations whose pornographic use may be classified as non-normative or contrary to their public life, the authors wrote.

According to the survey, crawlers made by Google and its subsidiaries appeared on 74% of the sites reviewed. On the Business Insider portal, the search giant said the information collected is not used for advertising purposes. Facebook, whose trackers are on 7% of the pages reviewed, gave a similar return and said the data is not used for campaigns. Oracle, another technology giant cited in the survey, has not commented on the issue. The company crawls 24% of the websites examined.

Still according to the study, without the use of specialized software such as WebXRay, employed in the research, it is almost impossible for users to know when they are being tracked. This is because the privacy policies that could disclose this type of information were found in only 17% of the analyzed sites.

Moreover, there is the fact that the terms of use are written in a very specific and complex language according to the researchers, it takes a level of knowledge equivalent to two years of graduation to understand the sentences.

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