Facebook, Google, and Oracle cloud are tracking the porn you watch in private

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Tech giants – Facebook, Google and Oracle cloud are secretly monitoring and tracking the porn you feel you’re watching in private, new joint study funded by Microsoft shows.

Researchers from Carnegie Mellon, and the University of Pennsylvania said they investigated 22,484 sex sites using a handy tool called webXray, which exposes tracking tools funneling data back to third parties.

“Our results indicate tracking is endemic on pornography websites: 93% of pages leak user data to a third-party,” the study reveals.

“Revelations about such data represent specific threats to personal safety and autonomy in any society that polices gender and sexuality.”

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The study found that Google and its various outlets had trackers on 74% of the web’s top online orgasm destinations, Oracle had 24% and Facebook 10%.

And if you think you’re being smart by browsing through “incognito” mode, well you got it wrong. Even when such browsing sessions aren’t stored in your browser history, the data is still transferred to these third parties.

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The researchers – Elena Maris of Microsoft, Timothy Libert of Carnegie Mellon, and Jennifer Henrichsen of U-Penn illustrated how these tracking cookies work using a hypothetical porn peeper named “Jack”.

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“The sites Jack visits, as well as any third-parties trackers, may observe and record his online action,” the study reads. “These third-parties may even infer Jack’s sexual interests from the URLs of the sites he visits. They might also use what they have decided about these interests for marketing or building a consumer profile.”

Yes, this means “they may even sell the data.”

“The fact that the mechanism for adult site tracking is so similar to, say, online retail should be a huge red flag,” study co-author Maris told the New York Times.

In addition, Maris and her co-researchers discovered that only 17% of the porn sites were encrypted. This leaves lots of opportunities for what they refer to as “widespread data leakage” and hacker “sextortion.”

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