What can browser history inadvertently reveal about a person’s health?
The researchers from Penn-CMU Digital Health Privacy Initiative decided to analyze 500 or so of the most highly trafficked COVID-related websites, places people were turning to learn about symptoms of the new virus, for example, or find a testing location.
Specifically, the researchers found that 99% of these webpages included a third-party data request, and 89% included a third-party cookie, results they shared in the Journal of the American Medical Association in October 2020.
Though researchers don’t yet know what are the implications of cookie use, they have some guesses. These range from relatively innocuous ad targeting to much more damaging privacy loss and the domino effect that could have on credit scores, insurance coverage, and many as-yet-undiscovered facets of someone’s life. For that reason, they say they hope this research also makes consumers more aware of the potential reverberations of their browsing history.
Source: What can browser history inadvertently reveal about a person’s health? | Penn Today