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A New Type of Tracking: Akamai's "Pixel-Free" Technology

Published on December 1, 2010
by Julia Angwin

Akamai Technologies Inc., the large Web infrastructure provider, is promoting a new tracking technique it calls “pixel-free” technology.

Pixels are bits of software that tracking companies install on Web pages to monitor user behavior. These pixels, also known as “beacons” and “tags,” can install cookies–or small tracking files–on a user’s machine, or they can simply send information about a user’s behavior to a tracking company.

However, tracking has become so pervasive that some Web publishers are increasingly worried that the pixels on their pages are slowing down the performance of their site. Several companies have cropped up to help companies manage all the pixels on their pages.

Akamai’s solution to the pixel problem is unique. Akamai’s core business is to store copies of popular websites and applications on its computer servers around the world and speed delivery of this information.

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