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Study: Data trackers make websites load twice as slow

Web trackers, on average, make some of the most-trafficked websites load twice as slow compared to when trackers are blocked, according to a new study published by Ghostery, a web tracker extension, and its parent company Cliqz.

Why it matters: A privacy reckoning around data collection from social media platforms has Americans paying more attention to how web trackers collect data, but this study shows that trackers aren't just a privacy problem. They can also cause terrible user experiences.

  • According the 2018 Tracker Tax Report study — which looks at the top 500 websites in the United States as determined by Alexa — each tracker dropped onto a webpage costs a user a half-second in load times.
  • The problem is pervasive. Nearly 90% of page loads had at least one tracker, according to the study. 65% had at least 10 trackers and about 20% had 50 or more trackers. Only 10% were tracker-free.
  • Ghostery warns that "piggybacking," or trackers that give other trackers access to a website, can be problematic, as they often aid in the slowdown of websites and make it difficult for website owners to track which user data is being collected by third parties.

Go deeper: You can log out, but you can’t hide.

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