Web Tracking in the Most Popular Estonian Websites

Priit Põdra
Every day we open our computers, laptops, or mobile phones to browse the web. We visit different websites and open various links or look for items. After some time, a separate website offers us a picture of the same thing we were looking for. That means we are being tracked and delivered tailored advertisements depending on our previous interests and location based on cookies content. What makes the situation complex is that they are not permitted to do that.
The work aimed to study how are visitors of popular Estonian websites tracked and how their privacy is affected. For that, all the cookies were identified by category and type. We determine if popular Estonian webpages comply with the ePrivacy Directive to understand if visitors of popular Estonian websites were tracked without consent. Finally, we calculate which are effective defense methods against third-party tracking.
This study has been based on 22 popular Estonian websites ranked by Amazon Alexa.com. These websites were divided into five categories: banking, education, e-commerce, news, and services, and for the crawl OpenWPM, a framework of Princeton University was used.
The results showed that 64% of the popular Estonian websites use third-party cookies, and most of these websites track visitors without their consent.
Graduation Thesis language
Graduation Thesis type
Master - Cyber Security
Arnis Paršovs
Defence year