The term tracking has traditionally been used by advertising companies. Digital advertising gave rise to ad-tracking—a way for advertisers to know what sites their customers were coming from before they made their online purchases.
These days, ad trackers allow advertisers to better target their customers—no matter where they are on the Internet, or what app they are using. Advertisers generally have one goal in mind: to bring you to their website to buy something (usually.)
The more questionable cookies are third-party cookies, used by advertisers to track your cross-site behavior. Every time you click on a link, an ad or traverse particular websites, your activity gets stored along with your identity and data about your behavior.
Learn more about the different ways websites are tracking individuals on the web.
Companies can use keyloggers to capture and record the keystrokes used by individuals. Companies use this information to improve their employee experience, but they can also use it to monitor behavior. Keyloggers can also be used by malicious third parties. Any information you type into a website form or an application can be stolen by malicious actors and sent back to a third party, who can sell your information for profit. This may include personal or financial information.
Find out more about kestroke capture technology.
Eye tracking technology was found on the premise that, "humans connect via eye-contact and by passing this attribute to computers, they will be closer to functioning like humans."
"Eye tracking is a technological process that enables the measurement of eye movements, eye positions, and points of gaze. In other words, eye tracking identifies and monitors a person’s visual attention in terms of location, objects, and duration."
Learn more about how the study of the physiology and anatomy of the eye brings insight to human brain activity.
In many cases, companies record your browsing experience to make your experience better and more convenient. Your browsing experience is recorded to understand your preferences and typical browsing habits. This gives advertisers an idea of what type of ads you will respond to. Sites like Youtube or Netflix use what movies you watch or click-on to recommend similar types of movies or content. Google records your searches to understand your interests and needs.
Learn more about how companies record your web browsing experience.
Ad blockers like Ghostery or Adblock were great browser extensions to stop online tracking. However, more recently, something called “bounce tracking” or “redirect tracking” hides trackers inside the links you click on, making them harder to block without breaking websites. Bounce tracking has now become a widespread issue.
Find out more about bounce tracking.
Third party cookies are pieces of code that are stored on a given website, that are set there by another domain or website. Here's how they differ from first party cookies:
"First-party cookies are stored under the same domain you are currently visiting. So, if you are on example.com, all cookies stored under this domain are considered first-party cookies. Those cookies are usually used to identify a user between pages, remember selected preferences, or store your shopping cart. You can hardly find a website nowadays that does not use first-party cookies."
Third-party cookies as are cookies that are stored under a different domain than you are currently visiting so, for example, A Facebook Pixel or DoubleClick Cookie is considered third-party cookies. They are mostly used to track users between websites and display more relevant ads between websites
Find out more about third-party cookies
Ad Trackers that are commonly used by advertisers to understand where users on web pages are going to help them understand their behavior typically with the goal to increase their purchase activity. Some common ad trackers include
Cookies enable the collection of this information including your preferences on a site, how you're using it etc. Cookies are Cookies are blocks of data that are created by a web server while a user is browsing a website and put on the user’s device or computer by the web server. Each cookie has a name value, and a value that is to be stored on the user’s device. Cookies are blocks of data that are created by a web server while a user is browsing a website and put on the user’s device or computer by the web server. Each cookie has a name value, and a value that is to be stored on the user’s device.
Here are a few articles about cookies and web trackers:
Google Analytics has enabled the growth of the digital marketing industry. Through its web analytics platform, Google Analytics track and analyze actions on a website, such as the number of visitors, number of page views. Through its association with ad serving platforms, marketers will understand and make decisions based on the performance of their digital marketing campaigns. The core technologies for Google Analytics are cookies and tracking codes to measure this performance.
Overtime, Google has been a pervasive technology and is being used by over 28 million websites worldwide.
The information that Google Analytics collects is critically important to advertisers. Because of this, Google has come under fire for the amount of data it's collecting without the individual end user permission. This is concerning from an individual privacy perspective.
Check out these articles for more information:
A Facebook pixel is a piece of code that you place on your website and collects data from customers of Facebook. This pixel helps advertisers track purchases, and helps optimise their ad placements and ad spend to build more effective digital campaigns. It works by placing cookies to track user behavior as they interact with the advertiser's business both on and off of Facebook and Instagram.
Find out more about Facebook Pixel