Charlie Warzel for The New York Times:

Silicon Valley’s biggest companies are always watching you — even when you’re browsing pornography websites in incognito mode. Trackers from tech companies like Google and Facebook are logging your most personal browsing details, according to a forthcoming New Media & Society paper, which scanned 22,484 pornography websites. Where that data ultimately goes is not always clear.

The study… found that 93 percent of the pornography websites they scanned sent data to an average of seven third-party domains. The authors used webXray, an open-source software tool, which detects and matches third-party data requests to scan sites. Most of that information (79 percent of websites that transmitted user data) was sent via tracking cookies from outside companies.

The study found that Google (or one of its subsidiary companies like the advertising platform DoubleClick) had trackers on 74 percent of the pornography sites. Trackers from the software company Oracle showed up on 24 percent of sites, and Facebook, which does not permit pornographic content or nudity on any of its platforms, had trackers on 10 percent of the sex websites scanned by the study…

The researchers found that visitors to most sex sites have almost no way of knowing if a major tech company has cookies or trackers embedded in its sites, and they were able to locate privacy policies for only 17 percent of the scanned sites.

MacDailyNews Take: The more studies like this reveal what’s gong on, hopefully, the quicker we’ll get to some real protection for U.S. consumers via comprehensive federal privacy legislation. Users should be asked for their consent upfront and have the ability delete their data at any time.

Privacy means people know what they’re signing up for, in plain English, and repeatedly. I’m an optimist; I believe people are smart, and some people want to share more data than other people do. Ask them. Ask them every time. Make them tell you to stop asking them if they get tired of your asking them. Let them know precisely what you’re going to do with their data. — Steve Jobs, June 2010

At Apple, your trust means everything to us. That’s why we respect your privacy and protect it with strong encryption, plus strict policies that govern how all data is handled… A few years ago, users of Internet services began to realise that when an online service is free, you’re not the customer. You’re the product. — Apple CEO Tim Cook, September 2014

People who value privacy and security use Apple products.MacDailyNews, September 12, 2015

The more people are educated about unchecked data collection and the more who value their privacy, the better Apple’s sales will be. Today, it’s literally Apple against the world.MacDailyNews, July 14, 2017