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You're Still Being Tracked on the Internet, Just in a Different Way


Tracking has shifted to what is known as "first party" tracking; people are not being trailed from site to site or app to app, but companies are still gathering information on what they do on specific sites and apps, with user consent.

Credit: Israel Vargas

The internet industry shuddered last year when Apple introduced privacy measures for the iPhone that threatened to upend online tracking and cripple digital advertising. Google pledged similar privacy actions.

But in less than a year, another type of internet tracking has started taking over. And it is having the unintended effect of reinforcing the power of some of tech's biggest titans.

The shift suggests that gathering people's online data for targeted advertising is not going away. That has implications for how companies make money online and how the internet operates. It also underlines the advantages built up by some of the largest digital platforms.

"They've entrenched their own power," Eric Seufert, a media strategist and the author of Mobile Dev Memo, a blog about mobile advertising, said of Apple and Google.

From The New York Times
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