Neutronian List Of Companies Shows Online Data Privacy Remains A Concern

The difficulty of opt-out procedures across the Internet has not improved much in the past quarter, according to data from Neutronian. Insights into healthcare providers, health data providers, and health-related publishers are some of the new areas the company analyzed in this quarter's report, which also includes search and retail media companies.

This quarter’s report -- expected to publish Thursday -- builds on the initial data released in the first quarter of this year, but looks much more closely at opt-out practices.

New companies were added to the ratings list, as well as an additional category focused specifically on companies that collect sensitive health-related data or provide health related information.

Many people-related search engines like PeopleConnect and its affiliated companies were among those with the most confusing opt-out processes, says Timur Yarnall, CEO of Neutronian.

“One company had an opt-out process that would be canceled out by a data deletion process,” he said. “They offered a suppression list that required an exorbitant about of personal information. Not only did I have to verify my email address, but I had to give them my birthdate just to opt-out.”

Pulsepoint, a health data platform, and Fetch Rewards are other examples of bad opt out processes. In fact, Fetch Rewards scored among the worst. The score for privacy and compliance came in at 59.72; datasets and characteristics, 59.38; and company background, 31.25. Much less than competitors like Ibotta.

Pulsepoint was one of the worst because the research didn’t locate a Terms of Service or basic do not sell process. The opt-out was very difficult to find, Yarnall said. "Pulsepoint has links on its homepage, but we just can't get them to work."

On average, retail media scored a bit better than publishers and data platforms on opt-outs, Yarnall said.

The U.S. search index score for privacy and compliance came in at 58.33; datasets and characteristics, 53.13; and company background, 53.13.

Change Healthcare, Quest Diagnostics, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Johnson & Johnson, and Fortinet were among the highest scoring companies in healthcare.

Hertz Global Holdings,, eBay U.S., Disney, Dell, eBay AU, eBay UK, Hilton, Lowes, Home Depot McDonald’s, and Nordstroms were among the highest scoring retailers.

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