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GDPR has helped cut ad trackers in Europe

(Image credit: Image source: Shutterstock/Wright Studio)

New analysis on the impact of GDPR on the adtech industry suggests the regulation has decreased the number of ad trackers websites are placing on EU visitors.

However, at the same time Google may have slightly increased its market share in the region which indicates that it its winning at the compliance game at the expense of smaller advertising firms.

The research was conducted by a joint data privacy team made up of employees from Cliqz and Ghostery using data from a service they run together called (opens in new tab). The team compared the amount of trackers present one month before and after GDPR went into effect looking at the top 2,000 websites visited by EU and US residents.

When it came to the amount of trackers, they found the average number of trackers per page dropped by around four per cent for EU web users from April to July. However, in the US the opposite was true with the average number of trackers per page increasing by over eight percent during the same period.

In Europe the number of trackers was reduced universally across website types and only banking sites actually increased their use of trackers. In the US, the reverse was true once again with banking sites reducing their tracker numbers after GDPR came into effect.

The team provided further insight on exactly how GDPR affected ad trackers in a blog post (opens in new tab), saying:

“The effects of the GDPR on the tracker landscape in Europe can be observed across all website categories. The reduction seems more prevalent among categories of sites with a lot of trackers. Most trackers per page are still located on news websites: On average, they embed 12.4 trackers. Compared to April, however, this represents a decline of 7.5%. On ecommerce sites, the average number of trackers decreased by 6.9% to 9.5 per page. For recreation websites, the decrease is 6.7%, which corresponds to 10.7 trackers per page. A similar trend is observed for almost all other website categories. The only exception are banking sites, on which 7.4% more trackers were active in July than in April. However, the average number of trackers per page is only 2.6.” 

Now that GDPR is in full effect in Europe we will likely see similar research indicating how the new regulation has affected how businesses interact with consumers online.

Image Credit: Wright Studio / Shutterstock

After getting his start at ITProPortal and then working with the TechRadar Pro team for the last several years, Anthony is now the security and networking editor at Tom’s Guide where he covers everything from data breaches to how to cover your whole home or business with Wi-Fi. When not writing, you can find him tinkering with PCs and game consoles, managing cables and upgrading his smart home.