May 16, 2022

Research Article (Preprint) “Tracking on the Web, Mobile and the Internet-of-Things”

The preprint linked below was recently share on arXiv.


Tracking on the Web, Mobile and the Internet-of-Things


Reuben Binns
University of Oxford


via arXiv


`Tracking’ is the collection of data about an individual’s activity across multiple distinct contexts and the retention, use, or sharing of data derived from that activity outside the context in which it occurred. This paper aims to introduce tracking on the web, smartphones, and the Internet of Things, to an audience with little or no previous knowledge. It covers these topics primarily from the perspective of computer science and human-computer interaction, but also includes relevant law and policy aspects. Rather than a systematic literature review, it aims to provide an over-arching narrative spanning this large research space.

Section 1 introduces the concept of tracking. Section 2 provides a short history of the major developments of tracking on the web. Section 3 presents research covering the detection, measurement and analysis of web tracking technologies. Section 4 delves into the countermeasures against web tracking and mechanisms that have been proposed to allow users to control and limit tracking, as well as studies into end-user perspectives on tracking. Section 5 focuses on tracking on `smart’ devices including smartphones and the internet of things. Section 6 covers emerging issues affecting the future of tracking across these different platforms.

Direct to Full Text Article
83 pages; PDF.

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.