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Keynote Launches Web Site Privacy Compliance Monitoring Service

Subscription-based Service Helps Website Owners Pinpoint Third Party Trackers Violating Privacy Policies

Most modern-day Web sites include interactive features such as social media sharing, widgets, and other third-party embedded content such as video, ads and tracking systems. While these features can help make a site feature-rich and useful for visitors, incorporating multiple sources of content that site owners don’t have control over can be a nightmare when it comes to compliance with a company’s own privacy policy.

In order to address these concerns, Keynote Systems, a provider of Internet and mobile cloud testing & monitoring solutions, this week launched an on demand service that helps businesses address Web privacy issues.

Keynote LogoThe company says that the new service, called Keynote Web Privacy Tracking, goes beyond traditional monitoring and identifies third party tracking in violation of a site’s own stated privacy policy.

The service provides insight into third parties that violate a company’s privacy policies across a Web site. Using a Web browser agent, Keynote’s service monitors websites and records all of the tracking activity present, including cookies being placed on the browser and other elements “accessed” by the browser.

Keynote matches that activity of those elements against a database of over 600 tracking companies and over 1,000 tracking domains and then providers details on what privacy policies may be violated.

According to the results of a soon-to-be-released study on the behavioral tracking on 269 different, Keynote discovered that 86 percent of the sites analyzed included third-party tracking of site visitors and, as a consequence of these third parties, over 60 percent of those sites violated one or more of the industry’s most common tracking-related privacy standards.

By monitoring websites around the clock from up to 70 geographic locations and covering 28 countries in the United States and Europe, Keynote says its service provides a breadth of information to help understand the precise location and size of potential privacy issues, including risks arising from variations in how ad networks deliver geo-targeted content.

If a privacy violation is discovered, Keynote helps in the remediation process by providing detailed and actionable records to help a site owner to manage policy violations with the ad network directly responsible for bringing a violator to the website.

Keynote’s solution also features one-click analysis and reporting – once a site operator finds someone violating a company’s own stated privacy policy, with the click of a button a site operator can drill-down for further information.

The service also comes with a tracking database that provides site operators with detailed information for each third party tracker on their site. Site owners can export the Keynote Web Privacy Tracking Report and share with stakeholders to take immediate corrective action as needed.

“Online websites know that they need to publicize and enforce a strong privacy policy in order to comply with regulations, maintain goodwill with users, and ensure repeat traffic,” said Ian Glazer, research vice president at Gartner, Inc. “However those tasked with managing privacy within the organization often lack visibility into their potential privacy risk. Privacy professionals are engaging a new breed of tools to help them identify the continued risk that comes with third party cookies.”

Keynote Web Privacy Tracking detects the third parties collecting user information on each company’s site across all pages monitored by Keynote. Keynote then cross-checks each tracker against a database of over 600 ad networks and 1,000 tracking domains. Tracking companies that do not commit to an industry best practice for Web privacy are then flagged as a violator of the selected policy.

“Ultimately, the burden of policing third-party trackers falls on the shoulders of website publishers,” Keynote’s Everett concluded. “A publisher is responsible for the content of their website, including the practices of the advertisers appearing on it. Monitoring the constantly changing advertising ecosystem is a daunting task, but the consequence of failure is the placing of your brand’s reputation at tremendous risk.”

Pricing for the service starts at $200 per month.