The Paradox of The Times: Site’s Ads and Trackers vs The Privacy Project

Saturday, 28 December 2019

This is a follow-up of my previous article New York Times Special: ‘One Nation, TRACKED’.

There’s a disclaimer in the bottom of each article:

Like other media companies, The Times collects data on its visitors when they read stories like this one. For more detail please see our privacy policy and our publisher’s description of The Times’s practices and continued steps to increase transparency and protections.

As shown on this Pinboard’s tweet, the very NYT tracks their readers without ceremony. They try to minimize the guilt with the statement of “we do it like other media companies, so don’t blame us!”.

This anodyne footer, which gives no hint of the level of third-party tracking imposed on readers, stays the same even on Privacy Project articles that cover companies with a direct financial relationship to the New York Times. Or Privacy Project op-eds by those companies’ CEOs.

It’s unclear if those tracking systems use location, but it can somehow be tracked by IP. Google Analytics, which is one of the services they use, provides a “soft” tracking option that makes it difficult to know a precise location, but many others don’t.

The tracking scripts are everywhere, including in The Privacy Project, which is undermined by such behavior.

About AI Ethics-Washing and the Need for Guidelines »