Tuesday, October 11, 2011

How Web's Biggest Sites Leak Personal Data to Google and Facebook

By:  Published: October 11, 2011, AdAge.

New research shows that personal information including names and sometimes even email addresses is routinely passed from the biggest sites on the web to third parties such as Google, ComScore and Facebook.
Conducted by researchers at Stanford University, the study shows how personal information is commonly -- and often unintentionally -- leaked when a username is included as part of a URL or a page title after a user registers to use a site, for example. Third parties embedded in that page could receive the URL -- and, thus, the user's name, which is often easily deduced from a username or user ID -- in a referrer header, or the data informing a website about pages that link to it, explained Jonathan Mayer, lead researcher on the project....... Read more.