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Google & Meta Collects Most Data From Indian Websites: Report

Google & Meta Collects Most Data From Indian Websites: Report

Google’s trackers were present in 97% of the websites surveyed, making it the largest third-party data aggregator

In March last year, Google had announced that it would stop allowing third-party cookies on its Chrome browser

In the meanwhile, Google will still track and target users on mobile devices and will continue to target advertisements at users based on their behaviour on Google’s platforms

According to a survey conducted by data security and privacy firm Arrka, Google’s trackers collect user data on more Indian sites than any other data aggregators, including Facebook.

The proportion of smartphone apps asking for permission to use the device’s camera and microphone has gone from 45% to 68% and 28% to 54% respectively, the study further revealed.

The report titled ‘State of Data Privacy of Indian Mobile Apps and Websites’ studied a total of 201 Indian mobile apps and websites from 100 organisations across 25 industries, according to ET. 

Arrka made some of the following observations after tracking a few privacy parameters:

Google’s trackers were present in 97% of the websites surveyed, making it the largest third-party data aggregator, far ahead of Facebook which was found to have trackers on just 55% of the websites.

Google was also found to collect data from 42% of the android applications studied, once again with Facebook trailing, with a presence on 25% of the apps. 

Website trackers are typically used to collect information about site users to monitor their online behaviour. This practice powers many online services including digital advertising and website analytics.

These trackers usually collect a variety of data points including:

  • IP addresses that can be used to determine a user’s location
  • Information about how users interact with these websites. For example, whether a user added an item to his cart or looked at a particular product etc.
  • Information about the browser and device that the user is using to access the website
  • Browsing activities across different sites.

In March last year, Google had announced that it would stop allowing third-party cookies on its Chrome browser that is in ubiquitous use around the world. This could mean that most companies wouldn’t be able to directly target you based on your browsing habits. 

In the meanwhile, Google will still track and target users on mobile devices and will continue to target advertisements at users based on their behaviour on Google’s platforms. As of January 2022, its Android mobile operating system held 69.7% of the market share, leaving Apple’s iOS in the dust with just 29.51%.

When it comes to analytics technologies, Google Analytics (31.55%), Google Universal Analytics (24.04%) and Google Global Site Tag (17.96%) dominate the market, with Facebook (4.45%) and MonsterInsights (3.66%) trailing behind.