Before and After GDPR: The Changes in Third Party Presence at Public and Private European Websites

Research output: Contribution to book/anthology/report/conference proceedingArticle in proceedingResearchpeer-review

Abstract

The commencement of EU’s General Data Protection (GDPR) has led to massive compliance and consent activities on websites. But did the new regulation result in fewer third party server appearances? Based on an eight months longitudinal study from February to September 2018 of 1250 popular websites in Europe and US, we present a mapping of the subtle shifts in the third party topology before and after May 25, 2018. The 1250 websites cover 39 European countries from EU, EEA, and outside EU, belonging to categories that cover both public-oriented citizen services, as well as commercially-oriented sites. The developments in the numbers and types of third party vary for categories of websites and countries. Analyzing the number of third parties over time, even though we notice a decline in the number of third parties in websites belonging to certain categories, we are cautious about attributing these effects to the general assumption that GDPR would lead to less third party activity. We believe that it is quite difficult to draw conclusions on cause-effect relationships in such a complex environment with many impacting factors. 

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationWWW '19 Companion Proceedings of the The Web Conference 2019
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Publication date21 Jan 2019
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 21 Jan 2019
EventThe Web Conference 2019 - San Francisco , United States
Duration: 13 May 201917 May 2019

Conference

ConferenceThe Web Conference 2019
LocationSan Francisco
CountryUnited States
Period13/05/201917/05/2019

Fingerprint

data protection
website
EU
EEA
longitudinal study
citizen
regulation
cause

Keywords

  • GDPR
  • web privacy measurement
  • third party web services
  • EU
  • public service media
  • private media

Cite this

Sørensen, J. K., & Kosta, S. (Accepted/In press). Before and After GDPR: The Changes in Third Party Presence at Public and Private European Websites. In WWW '19 Companion Proceedings of the The Web Conference 2019 Association for Computing Machinery.
Sørensen, Jannick Kirk ; Kosta, Sokol. / Before and After GDPR: The Changes in Third Party Presence at Public and Private European Websites. WWW '19 Companion Proceedings of the The Web Conference 2019. Association for Computing Machinery, 2019.
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Sørensen, JK & Kosta, S 2019, Before and After GDPR: The Changes in Third Party Presence at Public and Private European Websites. in WWW '19 Companion Proceedings of the The Web Conference 2019. Association for Computing Machinery, The Web Conference 2019, United States, 13/05/2019.

Before and After GDPR: The Changes in Third Party Presence at Public and Private European Websites. / Sørensen, Jannick Kirk; Kosta, Sokol.

WWW '19 Companion Proceedings of the The Web Conference 2019. Association for Computing Machinery, 2019.

Research output: Contribution to book/anthology/report/conference proceedingArticle in proceedingResearchpeer-review

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N2 - The commencement of EU’s General Data Protection (GDPR) has led to massive compliance and consent activities on websites. But did the new regulation result in fewer third party server appearances? Based on an eight months longitudinal study from February to September 2018 of 1250 popular websites in Europe and US, we present a mapping of the subtle shifts in the third party topology before and after May 25, 2018. The 1250 websites cover 39 European countries from EU, EEA, and outside EU, belonging to categories that cover both public-oriented citizen services, as well as commercially-oriented sites. The developments in the numbers and types of third party vary for categories of websites and countries. Analyzing the number of third parties over time, even though we notice a decline in the number of third parties in websites belonging to certain categories, we are cautious about attributing these effects to the general assumption that GDPR would lead to less third party activity. We believe that it is quite difficult to draw conclusions on cause-effect relationships in such a complex environment with many impacting factors. 


AB - The commencement of EU’s General Data Protection (GDPR) has led to massive compliance and consent activities on websites. But did the new regulation result in fewer third party server appearances? Based on an eight months longitudinal study from February to September 2018 of 1250 popular websites in Europe and US, we present a mapping of the subtle shifts in the third party topology before and after May 25, 2018. The 1250 websites cover 39 European countries from EU, EEA, and outside EU, belonging to categories that cover both public-oriented citizen services, as well as commercially-oriented sites. The developments in the numbers and types of third party vary for categories of websites and countries. Analyzing the number of third parties over time, even though we notice a decline in the number of third parties in websites belonging to certain categories, we are cautious about attributing these effects to the general assumption that GDPR would lead to less third party activity. We believe that it is quite difficult to draw conclusions on cause-effect relationships in such a complex environment with many impacting factors. 


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KW - web privacy measurement

KW - third party web services

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KW - public service media

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Sørensen JK, Kosta S. Before and After GDPR: The Changes in Third Party Presence at Public and Private European Websites. In WWW '19 Companion Proceedings of the The Web Conference 2019. Association for Computing Machinery. 2019