Do you know what is happening behind the scenes as you’re browsing the web? Are you aware of the extent and frequency at which your online behavior is being tracked, shared, and analyzed?
We are. Norton Labs has done in-depth research into tracking — and it has a direct impact on your privacy. We’ve applied our research to develop Norton AntiTrack, a new tracking protection product designed to help you take back your privacy.
More on that later. Here’s what you need to know about online tracking.
How pervasive is online tracking?
Collecting detailed web browsing behavior data is now a ubiquitous practice on the internet, exercised by most websites and in all jurisdictions.
A recent study by Norton Labs measured the prevalence and behavior of online trackers and unveiled fascinating results.
- People browsing the web for only a week are expected to encounter 177 tracking entities on average.
- Half of those will start tracking them within the first two hours of browsing activity.
- Each of these trackers may be present on multiple sites that the user visits, allowing the tracker to piece together a detailed profile of a person’s interests and behaviors.
Why we're tracked and what's being done about it
There are a variety of motivations behind online tracking. In many cases, website owners want to improve their advertising income or streamline their ad campaigns. In some cases, tracking is employed to evaluate business tactics and improve sales.
In other cases, tracking may be deployed in more privacy-intrusive ways — such as when used on health or political websites that may reveal a lot more about one’s personal life and identity.
Regulations such as the EU’s GDPR/E-Privacy and California’s CCPA aim to set boundaries and provide consumers with knowledge regarding tracking practices and cookies. However, studies show that tracking remains a potential threat to privacy, as users are not always capable of dealing with the intricate and laborious requirements of consent management systems. To make matters worse, the sheer number of websites makes it hard to monitor compliance with regulation, especially as requirements vary among geographies.
To remedy this issue, privacy advocates and private companies have proposed and developed various anti-tracking solutions. As expected, the online tracking ecosystem is quick to react to such technologies by adapting its operation to circumvent being blocked and having its business model disrupted.
Announcing Norton AntiTrack
Recent studies by Norton Labs have concluded that online tracking is more pervasive than ever, and new, more-advanced tracking techniques are being deployed. As part of our mission to keep consumers’ digital lives safe and help protect their identity and privacy, NortonLifeLock developed Norton AntiTrack — a highly sophisticated tracking protection product, capable of detecting and blocking the most-advanced online tracking known to date. Norton AntiTrack is a new Windows app and browser extension that helps keep your online activities and digital footprint private. Its key features help to obscure your identity from tracking and fingerprinting attempts made by browsers and individual websites.
Norton AntiTrack is based on frequently updated, dynamic lists of trackers that are created and updated with cutting-edge tracker detection crawling techniques — leading up to 400% more trackers being detected in some cases.
Furthermore, Norton AntiTrack incorporates novel detection for server-side tracking and other advanced tracking methods, algorithms to avoid webpage breakage, tracking severity and user privacy scoring, advanced anti-fingerprinting protection, and obfuscation techniques. Norton AntiTrack provides protection without requiring privacy-invasive methods (e.g., “man in the middle” inspection), with high performance and no interruption to the user experience.
The lengthy list of features includes the following:
- An advanced dynamic tracker detection solution based on expert crawling
- Real-time protection from tracking without breaking functionality
- A novel protection technology against cutting-edge and server-side tracking cookies
- High performance
- Customer experience protection and optimization
- Risk scoring and categorization for trackers (based on their identifier creation and sharing behaviors/roles, tracking frequency, and prevalence)
- Personalized tracking statistics for users
- Advanced anti-fingerprinting protection (performing a fine-grain analysis of each attempt)
- Data filtering/obfuscation for improved customer experience
With Norton AntiTrack, consumers now have an advanced, sophisticated online tracking protection solution that will help them protect their privacy. For more information and product availability, please visit here.
No one can prevent all cybercrime or identity theft.
 Norton AntiTrack is only available on Windows™ 10
Editorial note: Our articles provide educational information for you. NortonLifeLock offerings may not cover or protect against every type of crime, fraud, or threat we write about. Our goal is to increase awareness about cyber safety. Please review complete Terms during enrollment or setup. Remember that no one can prevent all identity theft or cybercrime, and that LifeLock does not monitor all transactions at all businesses.
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