Yahoo knows about those dirty sites you visited

The New York Times and Internet metrics firm comScore have partnered on a new study that shows what savvy web surfers have known for some time: we’re all being tracked on the web. In this case, though, comScore names names, and it turns out that Yahoo, MySpace, AOL, and Google collect the most average data about online browsing habits in any given month.

The Times partnered with comScore to develop a new metric that looks at how many “data collection events” many top web sites use to grab data from visitors. The events include the URL of requested pages, search query strings, videos played, advertising displayed, and ads served on ad networks owned by the companies (but appearing on other sites). The events chosen for tracking mean that each page may feature multiple events. The methodology is explained in more detail in a Times blog posting.

What comScore found, using this new metric, is that visitors to the top sites on the ‘Net get tracked. A lot. (link)

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