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Merzdovnik, G., Huber, M., Buhov, D., Nikiforakis, N., Neuner, S., Schmiedecker, M., Weippl, E..  2017.  Block Me If You Can: A Large-Scale Study of Tracker-Blocking Tools - IEEE Conference Publication.

In this paper, we quantify the effectiveness of third-party tracker blockers on a large scale. First, we analyze the architecture of various state-of-the-art blocking solutions and discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each method. Second, we perform a two-part measurement study on the effectiveness of popular tracker-blocking tools. Our analysis quantifies the protection offered against trackers present on more than 100,000 popular websites and 10,000 popular Android applications. We provide novel insights into the ongoing arms race between trackers and developers of blocking tools as well as which tools achieve the best results under what circumstances. Among others, we discover that rule-based browser extensions outperform learning-based ones, trackers with smaller footprints are more successful at avoiding being blocked, and CDNs pose a major threat towards the future of tracker-blocking tools. Overall, the contributions of this paper advance the field of web privacy by providing not only the largest study to date on the effectiveness of tracker-blocking tools, but also by highlighting the most pressing challenges and privacy issues of third-party tracking.