Americans have their sensitive bits exposed over 700 times a day

Americans have sensitive data relating to their online activity and location exposed 747 times daily, almost twice as much as Europeans who have their data exposed 376 times a day on average.

A new report from Atlas VPN looks at real-time bidding (RTB), which runs in the background on websites and apps and tracks what you look at, no matter how private or sensitive it is.

This perhaps shouldn't come as too much of as a surprise since, as we reported earlier today, even privacy-focused browser DuckDuckGo is transmitting tracking information related to ad domains.


The report's data is based on Irish Council for Civil Liberties report The Biggest Data Breach. It reveals the full scale of RTB data broadcasts in the US and Europe for the first time. The data shows the number of broadcasts sent about a person, rather than the number of advertisements displayed to them.

In the US the scale of the problem varies between states. A person in Colorado will have their online activity and location exposed 987 times every day, in Michigan it's 913, Illinois 912. Citizens of District of Columbia with activity shared 486 times daily have the least exposure.

Tighter regulations like GDPR -- which celebrated its fourth birthday yesterday -- mean that in Europe the issue is reduced but still significant. Polish internet users have their sensitive information shared with advertisers 431 times daily, Spanish users 426 times.

Although the UK has left the EU it has implemented its own variant of GDPR, its citizens see their online activity and location exposed 462 times daily.

"With each new data breach, customers are starting to realize that any time they disclose sensitive personal information to any company, that data may be exposed," says cybersecurity writer at Atlas VPN Vilius Kardelis. "As a result, people are increasingly demanding data privacy protection. Law enforcement is required to clamp down on data privacy violations."

You can see the full report along with an interactive graphic showing levels for all US states on the Atlas VPN blog.

Photo credit: Kaspars Grinvalds / Shutterstock

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