Web bug

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Web bug

Also called a "Web beacon," "pixel tag," "clear GIF" and "invisible GIF," it is a method for passing information from the user's computer to a third party website. Used in conjunction with cookies, Web bugs enable information to be gathered and tracked in the stateless environment of the Internet. The Web bug is typically a one-pixel, transparent GIF image, although it can be a visible image as well. As the HTML code for the Web bug points to a site to retrieve the image, it can pass along information at the same time.

Web bugs can be placed into an HTML page used for e-mail messages as most mail programs support the display of HTML pages. See e-mail tracker, cookie, state and anonymous proxy.


A Web Bug Scenario
There are myriad ways in which Web bugs can be used. This example uses a third-party tracking site to determine how much merchandise was purchased for a particular banner ad campaign. In scenarios such as these, the individual users may still remain anonymous, even though their buying habits are disclosed.
References in periodicals archive ?
When a user opens a web page or e-mail message containing a web beacon, regardless of whether it's from a computer or mobile device, a request is sent back to the server, where a record of that request will be stored.
Most Web beacons are so small as to be effectively invisible, but when an end-user opens or even previews an e-mail containing a Web beacon, it sends its signal back to the spammer, indicating that a valid e-mail address has been reached.
One can hardly visit a Web site today without encountering, knowingly or not, cookie or Web beacon technology.
By preparing the campaign in DoubleClick's DART(R) for Advertisers, mOne was able to add an additional web beacon to each ad unit that corresponded to a Nielsen//NetRatings cookie, and match those back to members of Nielsen//NetRatings' permission-based MegaPanel of more than 100,000 members.
Mirror Image's Web computing and content delivery solutions include Global Content Caching, Managed Content Targeting, Web Beacon and Java Executive Environment offerings, which help Poindexter address growing content delivery, targeting, optimization and measurement requirements while maximizing campaign profitability, enhancing site performance and improving client satisfaction.
Web Beacon enables businesses to cost-effectively evaluate
com/ ), the leader in outsourced Web analytics, today applauded the creation of new Web beacon guidelines as a critical step in balancing the privacy of consumers with the needs of businesses.
The Web beacon may be controlled by the organization that is responsible for the Web site being visited, or by another party that has been given permission to place the Web beacon on the site.
The NAI's web beacon program will respond to consumer privacy concerns through the development standards for the use of web beacons online.
Physical Web beacons can be programmed to link to rich, dynamic web-based content and functionality.
com allows internet users to anonymously test websites for web beacons, and other tracking mechanisms simply and securely.
Privacy topics covered include telemarketing, email marketing, cookies and web beacons, phishing, children's privacy, information security, identity theft, use of social security numbers, fax marketing and international law.