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Study: Popular Sites Leaking User Data

DATA PROTECTION

June 8, 2011

A new study concludes that many of the most popular online publishers are leaking reader data to outside parties. Conducted by researchers from AT&T and Worcester Polytechnic Institute, the study found that 56 percent of 120 sites studied leaked personally identifiable data, MediaPost News reports. Nine out of 10 sites in both health and travel were found to leak information, with health sites tracking what search terms people used. The report notes that, in some cases, it was possible to link a user's leaked e-mail address and search term to a cookie placed by an outside party, revealing, for example, "the e-mail address of a user interested in learning more about pancreatic cancer."
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