What is cross-site tracking? Is cross website tracking allowed?
In this post, we’ll explain what cross-site tracking is and how privacy laws regulate it.
Cross-site tracking refers to the activity of tracking across multiple websites. Websites that have enabled third-party trackers can share the information they collect about their users with third parties.
To understand how it works, let’s take social media widgets as an example.
Websites owners add social media widgets to increase the shareability of their content and get useful analytics. However, at the same time, they send back information to platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn. That’s because social media widgets act like pixel tags, short snippets of code embedded within tiny images.
Cross-site tracking can have multiple purposes.
First, it can make your online experience effortless and overall better. Let’s take social media widgets again: if you run into an article you like, you just need to click the widget to share it.
Trackers can also gather details about your online activity to show you things like personalized ads. This type of cross site tracking isn’t inherently bad, but it needs regulating.
That’s where data privacy laws, such as the GDPR, go on stage.
This article is a part of our series on data protection. Read also:
When it comes to the usage of trackers in the European Union, two privacy laws apply.
The second one is the GDPR. Though the GDPR doesn’t specifically mention trackers, trackers do process personal data in most cases. Here’s s why the GDPR record-keeping requirements apply. Moreover, most Data Protection Authorities across the EU have aligned their rules about trackers and cookies to GDPR requirements.
So, the usage of trackers is generally allowed, but you need to take a few preventive measures first.
These steps will ensure that your activity is lawful and avoid hefty fines.
GDPR compliance for your site, app and organization