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Privacy Chaos: Web Sites Can Watch Your Every Keystroke And Cursor Movement
The Internet is in jeopardy of complete meltdown because of privacy invading scripts used by vast numbers of corporate and government web sites, usually without your knowledge or permission. Harvested data is extremely valuable to marketers and intelligence agencies alike. Harvesting every bit of data possible is a key tenet of Technocracy. ⁃ TN Editor
If you have the uncomfortable sense someone is looking over your shoulder as you surf the Web, you’re not being paranoid. A new study finds hundreds of sites—including microsoft.com, adobe.com, and godaddy.com—employ scripts that record visitors’ keystrokes, mouse movements, and scrolling behavior in real time, even before the input is submitted or is later deleted.
Session replay scripts are provided by third-party analytics services that are designed to help site operators better understand how visitors interact with their Web properties and identify specific pages that are confusing or broken. As their name implies, the scripts allow the operators to re-enact individual browsing sessions. Each click, input, and scroll can be recorded and later played back.
A study published last week reported that 482 of the 50,000 most trafficked websites employ such scripts, usually with no clear disclosure. It’s not always easy to detect sites that employ such scripts. The actual number is almost certainly much higher, particularly among sites outside the top 50,000 that were studied.