EU governments are allowing more than 100 advertising companies, including Google and Facebook, to surreptitiously track citizens across sensitive public sector websites, in apparent violation of their own EU data protection rules, a study has found. From a report: Danish browser-analysis company Cookiebot found ad trackers -- which log users' locations, devices and browsing behaviours for advertisers -- on the official government websites of 25 EU member states [Editor's note: the link may be paywalled; alternative source]. The French government had the highest number of ad trackers on its site, with 52 different companies tracking users' behaviour. Google, YouTube and DoubleClick, Google's advertising platform, accounted for three of the top five tracking domains on 22 of the main government websites. Researchers also studied the websites for EU public health services, finding that people seeking health advice on sensitive topics such as abortion, HIV and mental illness were met with commercial ad trackers on more than half of the sites analysed.

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