When you’re feeling an insatiable urge to explore the porn industry, you’d assume that the large American websites would be tracking your clicks. But recently even when you click between local escort or brothel websites, you can assume your clicks are being tracked. Your browsing habits are not as private as you think. Porn viewers are being tracked through online tracking and browser fingerprinting. Tracking details can include your URL information, how long you stay on the site and how many clicks you make.
Your browser like Mozilla, Chrome or whatever you use has a very unique configuration that broadcasts information that can be used to identify you as you browse the web. Every website you visit saves data to link your account to your browser fingerprint, directly or through third parties without your knowledge. When you click on brothels in Brisbane you are not just sending a request for the site – you’re sending third- party request to Google, web-tracking company, brothel directory, and to a company called Pornvertising. Even if you’re browsing in incognito mode your computer is sending other data that can identify you every time you visit.
Third party data are gathered by data brokers or specialist firm to gather information about users to help serve appropriate ads. They use technologies such as cookies, e-tags, web beacons and other tools. All this allows firms to see what sites you visit, what you shopped for and what postcode you live and other personal information.
Porn visitors are at serious risk of being exploited by cyber criminals. Cheating site Ashley Madison fell victim to hackers who claim to have captured the personal information of all its users. The hackers threaten to publish the whole data (including users’ real names, credit card numbers and sexual fantasies) and dump a little at a time if the site will not adhere to their demands. This has a number of damaging implications for the users including potential humiliation.
Incognito browsing don’t prohibit third party mechanism. Private browsing and clearing your history won’t stop data brokers from being able to track you. Each site has a tracking elements installed and keep transmitting your data to a number of third-party corporations like Google or Pornvertising. Incognito mode won’t stop these companies from tracking you. It’s incredibly hard to ensure zero traceability, IP address can still be identified through ISP records.
The threat of third-party corporations tracking your browsing habits and the threat of hackers leaking personal information is certainly possible. There are no laws stating what can and can’t be done with the data. They could use it to tailor what advertisements you see. Porn dominates the web, 25% of web searches are for porn. These sites are reliant on advertising to make money. Regulation on the adult industry’s self-regulated guidelines do not prohibit the tracking or use of data related to a person’s interest or participation in pornography.