COVID-19 Sites Plagued with Third-Party Tracking, Posing Privacy Risk

Jessica Davis

Nearly all webpages tied to the COVID-19 pandemic and designed to help individuals find information about the coronavirus contain code that transfers data to third parties, which can pose serious privacy risks, according to a new study published in JAMA.

A range of entities have built webpages meant as resources for individuals to check symptoms, locate COVID-19 testing sites, and information about keeping safe during the crisis.

To understand the potential privacy risks posed by these resources, researchers from the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine and Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Computer Science assessed the prevalence and characteristics of web-tracking on sites tied to COVID-19.

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