Web Tracking with Chinese Characteristics

March 17, 2017

Tim Libert (Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania) highlights how surveillance on the Chinese web is more a result of free-market capitalism than authoritarian imperative. The degree to which users are surveilled on 500 popular Chinese websites has been investigated using a computer based in mainland China. Despite what one may expect in an authoritarian context, significant evidence of direct government involvement in large-scale web tracking has not been found. However, extensive third-party tracking by private companies has been discovered.