Measuring Web Cookies in Governmental Websites

Matthias Gotze, Srdjan Matic, Costas Iordanou, Georgios Smaragdakis, Nikolaos Laoutaris

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeConference contributionScientificpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
67 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

In recent years, governments worldwide have moved their services online to better serve their citizens. Benefits aside, this choice increases the danger of tracking via such sites. This is of great concern as governmental websites increasingly become the only interaction point with the government. In this paper, we investigate popular governmental websites across different countries and assess to what extent the visits to these sites are tracked by third-parties. Our results show that, unfortunately, tracking is a serious concern, as in some countries up to 90% of these websites create cookies of third-party trackers without any consent from users. Non-session cookies, that are created by trackers and can last for days or months, are widely present even in countries with strict user privacy laws. We also show that the above is a problem for official websites of international organizations and popular websites that inform the public about the COVID-19 pandemic.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationWebSci 2022 - Proceedings of the 14th ACM Web Science Conference
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery (ACM)
Pages44-54
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)9781450391917
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2022
Event14th ACM Web Science Conference, WebSci 2022 - Virtual, Online, Spain
Duration: 26 Jun 202229 Jun 2022

Publication series

NameACM International Conference Proceeding Series

Conference

Conference14th ACM Web Science Conference, WebSci 2022
Country/TerritorySpain
CityVirtual, Online
Period26/06/2229/06/22

Keywords

  • COVID-19
  • GDPR.
  • Official Web Services
  • User Tracking
  • Web Cookies

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