The Impact of User Location on Cookie Notices (Inside and Outside of the European Union)

Workshop on Technology and Consumer Protection (ConPro '19)

6 Pages Posted: 30 Apr 2019

See all articles by Rob van Eijk

Rob van Eijk

Leiden University, Leiden Law School

Hadi Asghari

Delft University of Technology

Philipp Winter

University of California, San Diego (UCSD) - The Center for Applied Internet Data Analysis (CAIDA)

Arvind Narayanan

Princeton University

Date Written: March 27, 2019

Abstract

The web is global, but privacy laws differ by country. Which set of privacy rules do websites follow? We empirically study this question by detecting and analyzing cookie notices in an automated way. We crawl 1,500 European, American,and Canadian websites from each of 18 countries. We detect cookie notices on 40% of websites in our sample. We treat the presence or absence of cookie notices, as well as visual differences,as proxies for differences in privacy rules. Using a series of regression models, we find that the website’s Top Level Domain explains a substantial portion of the variance in cookie notice metrics, but the users vantage point does not. This suggests that websites follow one set of privacy rules for all their users. There is one exception to this finding: cookie notices differ when accessing.com domains from inside versus outside of the EU. We highlight ways in which future research could build on our preliminary findings.

Keywords: Cookie Notice, Web Privacy Measurement, ePrivacy, GDPR, VPN

Suggested Citation

Eijk, Rob van and Asghari, Hadi and Winter, Philipp and Narayanan, Arvind, The Impact of User Location on Cookie Notices (Inside and Outside of the European Union) (March 27, 2019). Workshop on Technology and Consumer Protection (ConPro '19). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3361360

Rob van Eijk (Contact Author)

Leiden University, Leiden Law School ( email )

Leiden
Netherlands

Hadi Asghari

Delft University of Technology ( email )

P.O. Box 5015
2600 GB Delft
Netherlands

Philipp Winter

University of California, San Diego (UCSD) - The Center for Applied Internet Data Analysis (CAIDA) ( email )

9500 Gilman Dr
Mail Stop 0505
La Jolla, CA 92093-0505
United States

Arvind Narayanan

Princeton University ( email )

Princeton, NJ 08540
United States

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