Notified but Unaware: Third Party Tracking Online

Forskningsoutput: TidskriftsbidragArtikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift


Drawing from conceptual studies on transparency, particularly with regard to market complexity, user literacy and resignation, this article studies and analyzes the practices of third-party data collection online. Empirically, we map third-party trackers on a sample of Swedish websites in five sectors (media, retail, banking/insurance, public sector, and health), and the trackers are compared to lists of known trackers to determine their main purpose. These results are then used in digital focus groups divided into high-trust and low-trust individuals, to better understand how everyday consumers perceive and cope with the tracking infrastructure. The main results indicate that third-party tracking is omnipresent online, particularly for media and retail sites, showing that data-driven markets depend on the collection, sharing and trade of consumers’ personal data. Furthermore, despite regulatory provisions promoting clearer notifications and designs within the EU, many users are still highly unaware of the data collection practices and their underlying purposes. The results indicate a weak consent base for data collection and a market structure and data collecting practices that are highly non-transparent. We recommend more active supervisory authorities, and more stringent requirements primarily in relation to the obscure ad tech infrastructures to improve transparency and promote consumer awareness.


Enheter & grupper
Externa organisationer
  • Linköping University

Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ) – OBLIGATORISK

  • Juridik och samhälle
  • Tvärvetenskapliga studier
  • Övrig annan teknik


Sidor (från-till)101-120
Antal sidor20
TidskriftCritical Analysis of Law
Utgåva nummer1
StatusPublished - 2021 apr 2
Peer review utfördJa


Ingen tillgänglig data

Relaterad forskningsoutput

Stefan Larsson, 2021, (Accepted/In press) I: European Journal of Communication.

Forskningsoutput: TidskriftsbidragArtikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift

Stefan Larsson, Fredrik Åström & Anders Jensen-Urstad, 2020 nov 11, Konkurrensverket. 136 s.

Forskningsoutput: Bok/rapportRapport

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Related projects

Stefan Larsson, Fredrik Heintz, Katarzyna Söderlund & Prahalad Kashyap Haresamudram


Projekt: ForskningTvärvetenskaplig forskning

Stefan Larsson, Jonas Ledendal, Calle Rosengren & Charlotte Högberg


Projekt: ForskningTvärvetenskaplig forskning

Stefan Larsson

The Swedish Retail and Wholesale Council (Handelsrådet)


Projekt: ForskningSamarbete med industri

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Relaterade aktiviteter

Larsson, S. (Huvudtalare)
2021 jun 11

Aktivitet: Föredrag eller presentationInbjuden talare

Larsson, S. (Inbjuden talare)
2021 maj 7

Aktivitet: Föredrag eller presentationInbjuden talare

Larsson, S. (inbjuden talare)
2021 apr 28

Aktivitet: Deltagit i eller arrangerat evenemangDeltagit i workshop/ seminarium/ kurs

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