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Shopping for privacy: Purchase details leaked to PayPal

Tijdschriftbijdrage - Tijdschriftartikel

© 2015 Elsevier B.V. We present a new form of online tracking: explicit, yet unnecessary leakage of personal information and detailed shopping habits from online merchants to payment providers. In contrast to the widely debated tracking of Web browsing, online shops make it impossible for their customers to avoid this dissemination of their data. We record and analyse leakage patterns for the 881 most popular US Web shops sampled from actual Web users' online purchase sessions. More than half of the sites we analysed shared product names and details with PayPal, allowing the payment provider to build up fine-grained and comprehensive consumption profiles about its clients across the sites they buy from, subscribe to, or donate to. In addition, PayPal forwards customers' shopping details to Omniture, a third-party data aggregator with even larger tracking reach than PayPal itself. Leakage to PayPal is commonplace across product categories and includes details of medication or sex toys. We provide recommendations for merchants.
Tijdschrift: Electronic Commerce Research and Applications
ISSN: 1567-4223
Volume: 15
Pagina's: 52 - 64
Jaar van publicatie:2016