Websites share user data more often than previously thought

A study finds the practice of sending personal information to advertisers and others is pervasive, though not necessarily intentional, on some of the more popular websites.Popular websites are disclosing personal information to advertisers and others more often than previously believed, according to new research, and the finding is renewing calls to let Internet users block companies from tracking their online surfing.Information that could easily identify you — your name, user name or email address, for instance — typically is embedded in the Uniform Resource Locator, or URL, that websites share with online advertisers and other third parties, said Jonathan Mayer, a Stanford graduate student who studied the issue and released his findings Tuesday.,0,5765918.story

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