Adult websites are harvesting your most intimate data

Adult websites are harvesting your most intimate data

Experts warn that users are being watched as they navigate around pornographic sites.

The lack of consent has caused an uproar with individuals and organisations processing and handling personal data. With experts warning users who navigate around pornography sites, that their data is being shared with third parties.

The biggest problem is not knowing what information needs to be harvested, this makes asking for consent difficult for most organisations. Website owners now have a legal obligation to capture users’ consent whilst making users aware that they are being ‘tracked’ their personal data and searching behaviour is being sold to third parties.

As pornographic site owners are afraid users won’t allow their data to be processed they are collecting data without the users' consent or knowledge. 

Research shows that online pornography is the primary use of the internet: estimated to account for 30% of the internet usage, bigger than tech giants such as Amazon, Twitter and Netflix combined. 

With two pornography sites in the top 10 most visited websites.

Source: SimilarWeb, Top Websites

To carry out this study, researchers from Microsoft, Carnegie Mellon and the University of Pennsylvania compiled a list of adult websites and studied each of them with specialist tools that allow them to understand what data is being sent to third parties. From their research, they found that 74% of the world's top websites were sending personal information to Google along with vast amounts of data being sent to Oracle, Facebook and other companies.

The study found that users of these sites were not aware that their information was being leaked. These sites gather large amounts of data, without their customer’s knowledge. From the 22,484 pornographic websites that were included in the study, it was found that 93% of them were leaking data to third party companies. 

Only a small proportion of these websites (17%) included a privacy policy to allow users to understand how their data is being used. Even those ‘with’ privacy policies, made it hard for users to comprehend given the confusion caused due to the legal language used.

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