You’d have thought that the supermarkets, what with their club card and electronic tracking of your every move, might be the biggest stalkers, but no. Apparently Microsoft’s the worst offender of them all, closely followed by Apple, and, err, Dell.
According to a new report by a web-tracking company called Ghostery, which produces an ad-tracking browser plug-in, Microsoft’s site has no fewer than 137 different trackers on it. That means, every time you go anywhere near Microsoft’s site, Redmond is collecting a heck of a lot of information on you. Some of these are, of course, analytics trackers, but the vast majority are geared up to serve you behavioural ads. The scary thing is Microsoft isn’t alone; Apple boasts 107 different trackers, while Dell clocks in with 106.
In contrast, Tesco has just 64 tracking bugs on its site, less than half of what Microsoft throws at you, while John Lewis has 46 of the blighters, and Dabs only 12. Still, that’s quite a lot of tracking going on, and begs the question: just what are these companies looking at when it comes to your movements across the web? Most of the trackers on each of these sites come from third-party marketing companies, who Microsoft and others employ to give them data on your web-based goings on — effective stalking you as you jump from site to site.
Maybe we should be less worried about what Google has on us, and more worried about what Microsoft, Apple and Tesco’s doing, sneaking a lot more than a cheeky peek at our movements. [The Register]
Image credit: Stalker from Shutterstock