The San Jose Mercury News reports that web users are tracked far more widely than they know, according to UC Berkeley researchers. Companies often provide information about people who visit their web sites to others, despite assertions to the contrary, the study concluded. Some tracking software collects detailed information on how people use the internet. "Some third party will then know that a computer from your [location] visited a web page, and they’ll know the content of the page you viewed," said Ashkan Soltani, one of three UC Berkeley graduate students who compiled the study as part of their master’s project before graduating last week. "There’s no transparency about how that information is used," he said. Although it has long been known that companies track web users, researchers were surprised by how ubiquitous the practice is and how few sites mention the practice in their privacy policies. Despite privacy policies assuring users that companies do not collect personal information on their web sites, many find loopholes that allow them to do just that…

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