Google and Facebook know when you are watching porn even in incognito mode

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Google and Facebook know when you are watching porn even in incognito mode

The study by the researchers at Microsoft, Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pennsylvania found out that web browsing data trickles down to tech giants via trackers and cookies even when they are using the incognito mode.

Accessing porn sites on the internet is easy and covering up your digital footprints such that no one knows what you have been up to is even easier all thanks to the incognito mode in Chrome or its equivalent in other web browers. While watching porn online is easy, it comes with its share of security risks. If you think that trojans and viruses are the only thing you need to worry about then you might be wrong as a new research has proven that tech giants including Google, Facebook and Oracle are snooping on you even when you are watching porn in the incognito mode.

This means that all those times when you were secretly watching porn online believing that no one was snooping in on your private time, turns out tech giants already knew what you were up to.

In March 2018, researchers at Microsoft, Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pennsylvania analysed a total of 22,484 websites that host pornographic content on their platform. Upon analysis they found that 93 per cent leak user data to a third party. Of these, Google tracks about 74 per cent of the analysed porn sites, while Oracle tracks nearly 24 per cent sites and Facebook tracks nearly 10 per cent porn sites.

"In the US, many advertising and video hosting platforms forbit 'adult' content. For example, Google's YouTube is the largest video host in the world, but does not allow pornography. However, Google has no policies forbidding websites from using their code hosting (Google APIs) or audience measurement tools (Google Analytics)," the researchers wrote in the paper.

"Thus Google refuses to host porn, but has no limits on observing the porn consumption of users without their knowledge," they added.

The paper noted that using the incognito mode while watching pornographic content only ensures that a users' browsing history is not saved on his computer. His browsing data, which may infer a user's sexual interests, may trickle down to the porn websites and third party trackers via cookies and third-party trackers regardless of him using the incognito mode.