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 March 21, 2019  Posted by  Featured News, Non-U.S.

Kevin Townsend reports:

Governments within the European Union appear to be flouting their own GDPR laws. Many official government websites are harboring and delivering tracking cookies from the ad tech industry even though they don’t rely on any advertising income. Eighty-nine percent of 184,683 pages delivered tracking cookies. Twenty-five of the 28 member states have websites with tracking cookies — only the Spanish, German and Dutch sites had no trackers.

To make this more disturbing, a new Cookiebot report (PDF) demonstrates that vulnerable citizens looking for sensitive information are tracked on pages where they should feel safe. For example, the researchers used a search engine to seek answers on subjects including HIV, pregnancy, mental illness, alcoholism and cancer. They then checked the first government landing page found by the search engine. The implication is that anyone seeking advice on, for example, “I have cancer — now what?” will find that it is not just the government website that now knows he has cancer.

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