privacy preference signals

a standards war?

This research project explored the economic actors behind the pictured consent dialogs. We estimate that users wasted at least 2,500 years since 2018 filling out the consent dialogs of just one AdTech firm (QuantCast).

Our PETS paper tells the story of how the web community failed to standardise a user friendly way to express privacy preferences, and how these time intensive consent dialogs took hold:

Both the PETS paper and our IMC paper describe different aspects of this ecosystem.

Users waste time filling out these dialogs:

We argue there is evidence that ad partners push websites to adopt the Transparency and Consent Framework (TCF) designed by an AdTech industry body:

Websites who embed more third-parties are more likely to adopt the framework: