Scottish council websites sharing residents’ data via advertising cookies

High-interest credit cards and Black Friday deals are among the adverts targeted at people seeking benefits advice on local authority websites, an investigation has uncovered. More than a third of Scottish council sites were found to be using advertising trackers which allow private third party companies to track residents’ data. Research by the BBC Shared Data Unit found more than 950 advertising cookies - small text files that track people on the internet - embedded in council benefits pages across the UK. Examples of targeted adverts on benefits pages seen by the BBC include high-interest credit cards, Black Friday deals, sports cars with features for disabled people and private funeral care plans.

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