The GDPR has been in effect for a couple of months now – but what have we learned so far? A lot of people feel that it’s not worth the trouble and/or are annoyed by the fact that some pages outside of the EU decided to simply not comply but instead shut Europeans out via GeoIP. On top of that smaller blogs owners also got really afraid about what they need to do and decided that it’s not worth the trouble; their blogs were shut down.
So has there been anything positive we can say about the GDPR at all? Well, without it we would not have found out about how VPNs use our data and other shady practices of bigger companies. People actually also have more of a fighting chance when it comes to controlling where their data goes. And then there are the tracking cookies.
Overall cookie usage went down
Tracking cookies are little plain text files that are saved in your browser to personalize your browsing experience and tracking your activities. So for example, if you all of a sudden notice that Google shows you ads based on your latest internet searcher, that’s how it’s being done.
According to a study conducted by the Reuters Institute and the University of Oxford, there is good news when it comes to those pesky cookies. The researcher discovered that the overall usage of third-party cookies on news sites is down 22%, including significant drops in advertising and marketing (14%) and social media (9%) cookies.
Sounds good, right? That’s not all. The study also shows that:
- The percentage of news sites hosting third-party social media content, such as sharing buttons from Facebook or Twitter, dropped significantly, from 84% in April to 77% in July.
- The number of cookies from design optimization tools is down 27%, advertising and marketing cookies down 14%, and social media cookies down 9% – on average.
- The US-based technology companies Google, Facebook, and Amazon remain present on the highest number of the news sites. Only Facebook has seen a significant drop in reach after GDPR.
Better but not perfect
So what does this tell us? While a lot of things have changed for the better when it comes to trackers on EU news sites, Google, Facebook, and Amazon trackers remain way too popular. Nonetheless, it seems that a lot of third-party cookies that were added without the users consent were eliminated since the GDPR was introduced.
Have you noticed any difference on your favorite news pages?