More than 100 tracking tools are being installed on Internet users’ computers by many of the US’ most popular websites, according to an investigation by the Wall Street Journal.
Dictionary.com installed 168 tracking devices, and Microsoft’s msn.com, and Google both installed over 100 tracking tools each.
The online encyclopedia, wikipedia.org, installed no tracking devices.
“The state of the art is growing increasingly intrusive,” write Julia Angwin and Tom McGinty. “Some tracking files can record a person’s keystrokes online and then transmit the text to a data-gathering company that analyzes it for content, tone and clues to a person’s social connections. Other tracking files can re-spawn trackers that a person may have deleted.”