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 email messages as most mail programs support the display of HTML pages. See email 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 ?
Let's begin with a simple definition of a web beacon.
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.
In an attempt to self-regulate online consumer privacy while conducting online transactions, the Network Advertising Initiative (NAJ), which comprises some of the Internet's leading advertising and ad technology companies, has finalized the creation of the new Web beacon guidelines as a critical step in balancing the privacy of consumers with the needs of businesses.
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
The NAI's web beacon program will respond to consumer privacy concerns through the development standards for the use of web beacons online.
Data gathered regarding the online behaviors of visitors to an organization's website could be gathered with cookies, web beacons and other technologies.
com allows internet users to anonymously test websites for web beacons, and other tracking mechanisms simply and securely.
For instance, a team of privacy researchers at the University of California-Berkeley recently licensed data from the browser plug-in Ghostery that scanned commonly visited websites to see how many web beacons and cookies from different ad- and behavioral-tracking networks resided on familiar content destinations.
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.