Jonathan Mayer : 2012 Security Session


Monday, April 2, 2012
Location: Fisher Conference Center, Arrillaga Alumni Center

"Third-Party Web Tracking: Policy and Technology"
10:30am - 11:00am


In the early days of the web, content was designed and hosted by a single person, group, or organization. No longer. Webpages are increasingly composed of content from myriad unrelated "third-party" websites in the business of advertising, analytics, social networking, and more. Third-party services have tremendous value: they support free content and facilitate web innovation. But third-party services come at a privacy cost: researchers, civil society organizations, and policymakers have increasingly called attention to how third parties can track a user's browsing activities across websites.

In a series of studies we have used web measurement to understand the policy and technology issues surrounding third-party web tracking. I will present an overview of the problem space, our results, and our FourthParty measurement tool.


Jonathan Mayer is a graduate student in Computer Science and Law at Stanford University, where he is a Student Fellow at the Center for Internet and Society. He received his undergraduate degree from Princeton University in 2009 with a concentration in the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. Jonathan's area of study encompasses the intersections of policy, law, and computer science, with recent emphasis on consumer web privacy and cybersecurity policy. A proud Chicago native, he is undaunted by freezing weather and enjoys celery salt on a hot dog.