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Presidential Campaign Sites Allegedly Leaking PII

ONLINE PRIVACY—U.S.

November 2, 2012

The New York Times reports on a study by computer science student Jonathan Mayer alleging that both the Obama and Romney campaign websites are leaking visitor data to third-party trackers. One website includes users’ personal data in the URL or at the top of the page, Mayer reports, and the information leaked to third parties variously includes username, registered proper name, street address and ZIP code. The other website reportedly includes the user’s name in the page title and features a unique ID number in the URL. “Are the campaigns identifying their supporters to third-party trackers? Are they directly undermining the anonymity properties that they are so quick to invoke?” queried Mayer, suggesting, “Yes, they are.” (Registration may be required to access this story.)
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