Data Leakage

Are Your Third-Party Tags Leaving You Open to Data Leakage?

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What is Data Leakage?

Every company has sensitive data that must be protected. It can consist of personal health information, intellectual property, customer payment information and order histories, or even trade secrets. Data leakage occurs when this sensitive data is disclosed to unauthorized parties either through malicious intent or an unintentional mistake. Data leakage prevention is a strategy for making sure that this doesn’t occur and that a company’s critical data stays within the corporate network.  

While most companies are aware of the importance of protecting the sensitive data listed above, many are unaware of the risks posed by third-party marketing technology. These third-party vendors can leak sensitive customer marketing data to fourth, fifth, and even sixth parties, known as “piggyback tags.”  This is particularly perilous because the company does not have a direct relationship with these trespassing technologies. In fact, Ghostery studies have found that of all the vendors on a website, 20-40% have added the code directly, the rest of the vendors are there indirectly. 

The Dangers of Piggyback Tags

Yes, It’s true. A large percent of the vendors with access to commercial websites have no direct contract or relationship with the enterprise itself, gaining entry indirectly through partnerships and agencies. In other words, most marketing technologies live on a site accidentally, without any cohesive strategy or business case for being there. This accidental chaos creates many issues: site-management difficulties and latency that can cause users to abandon. But the most serious threat posed by these piggyback tags is that they compromise security by passing along valuable customer data gathered by a website to parties the site itself has no affiliation with. This data is then in a precarious position, and can end up in the hands of competitors, where they can use it to their own advantage. Clearly, data leakage due to third-party marketing technologies is something any company that depends on a web presence for their business must avoid. 


Data Leakage Prevention with Ghostery MCM

How have so many companies allowed their websites to be compromised like this? It is simply the result of a rapidly multiplying number of available marketing technologies that has been developed in response to the shifting needs of today's consumer and the increasing pressure to drive more conversion and revenue. How can companies that employ marketing tech on their sites manage the data leakage risks that come along with them? A great first step is adoption of a tool that provides a complete picture of all of the marketing tech running on a site, including third, fourth, and fifth-party tech. Ghostery MCM does just this, acting as data prevention software by uncovering where customer marketing data is being passed unknowingly. Armed with the data provided by Ghostery MCM, web site owners will have the information they need to set up agreements with vendors that prevent data leakage to unknown parties.


Ghostery MCM lets us assess vendors across all our properties, monitor their performance, and ensure that we are delivering the best customer experience.

CHAD WESTFALL, Director of Web Delivery,
InterContinental Hotels Group

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Questions? We have answers!


The best way to learn more about Data Leakage is to connect with the Ghostery team, who can diagnose and resolve where your tags are negatively impacting your revenue. Together we can solve tag and page-related issues related to:

  • Governance
  • Performance
  • Security
  • Privacy 

We’re standing by and ready to help optimize and secure the digital experience that you offer your customers.

REQUEST A DEMO Or call us at +1 (917) 262 2530