Mezzobit Data Transparency Index: February 2016In our third monthly survey of Internet data practices, Mezzobit saw a slight worsening of the landscape.

The Mezzobit Data Transparency Index examines third-party code (tags and pixels) on websites and saw a one point increase to a score a 42, driven by the following issues:

  • Security, which measures how often secure protocols are used to handle data, dropped a point, reflecting a slightly safer environment driven by the growing adoption of HTTPS for websites.
  • Visitor tracking, which measures the use of technologies such as cookies and browser fingerprinting, rose two points due to a higher amount of browser fingerprinting, coupled with more cookie activity.
  • User interface changes, which measures the extent of visual changes created by tags, was also higher due to more rich media and video.
  • Data collection and tag chaining (a measure of how often foreign website code is loaded) were unchanged.

Earlier this year, Mezzobit began assessing how websites across the Internet engage in data collection, user tracking and other visitor interactions, using our insight into billions of transactions that flow through our systems each month plus scans of top digital properties.

The DTI is intended to provide consumers, enterprises and regulators a monthly barometer of how the digital world is trending. Here’s a detailed explanation that accompanied our first Index in January, which coincided with Data Privacy Day.

Normal website operations cause variations based on a number of factors. When you visit your favorite site, there may be different articles, ads, or products on any given day, which affects the type and quantity of third parties called into the page.

If you have any idea or if there are questions you’d like us to answer with this project, please drop us a line.