When I wrote my Ebook (The Future of Advertising is You) the research I presented suggested that the average UK website placed 44 cookies on your machine, 85% of which would be shared with at least one other third party. Meaning that a single website visit could be tracked and monitored by 81 different entities.
This stat is sometimes met with scepticism as it is difficult to visualise or understand.
But here is a nifty little tool which will help you do just that. The adsbydomain tool by Dr Augustine Fou allows you to check a domain and output all of the ad calls made, and who they subsequently make an ad request or information available.
Take the Daily Mail for example. The graph produced for a visit to their home page is pretty large and too big to display in a single image on his tool. I have attempted to stitch it together below. It totals 85 tracking requests and 788 Ad Server requests (requests for an ad to display).
This type of ad load on a page is huge, and the scourge of many news websites from a usability perspective. That’s before we get into the debate about privacy on the data gathered. Ad calls themselves are a part of the programmatic landscape, but the sharing and leakage of a data of a set up such as this is completely unnecessary.
A few years back I debated this point on BBC 5 Live with a Senior Exec of an Advertising Tech Provider. Their argument was that this was all above board and that people opted in to the data sharing through browser settings and cookie policies. What do you think?