calendar iconApr 18, 2023

All Webby Awards nominees in the category “Shopping and Retail” are breaking the law and violating their users' privacy

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all shopping retail webby awards nominees violate user privacy

No, that is not a clickbait title. It is the truth. The sad truth. 

In the following post, I will run through each of the 5 nominees and highlight how they are breaking their user's trust and in most cases breaking the law, exposing themselves to huge lawsuits.

Official Black Wall Street


official black wall street

Official Black Wall Street offers no consent requests at all, which is illegal in both the European GDPR and the Californian CCPA as well as several other US states.

The site loads tracking mechanisms from Facebook, Google Analytics, Stripe and (without consent). Sharing users' data with 3rd parties, without the user's consent, is not legal and even with consent, it can result in shared legal risks if the 3rd party has a data breach.




Whatnot does offer a cookie consent mechanism. However, it is so text heavy, that few, will bother to ever read it, except maybe for the ironic title; “We value your privacy”.

It takes several seconds for the cookie wall to even load and show, which means most users are already using the site before a consent option is even offered.

It does not matter much however, as the site loads tracking mechanisms from Facebook, Google Analytics, Google Ads (Doubleclick), Stripe and Appsflyer (without consent). Sharing users' data with 3rd parties, without the user's consent is not legal and even with consent, it can result in shared legal risks if the 3rd party has a data breach.




The site automatically blocks IPs outside of North America, undoubtedly to circumvent dealing with the pesky Europeans and their insistence that you should not violate their privacy. This is not a solution though as Albertsons is violating several state laws in the US including the CCPA by sharing users’ data without their consent. 

Google, TikTok, Bing and Clinch are among the receivers of Albertson’s user data by means of JavaScript and pixel tracking. Doubleclick gets cookies even before the Cookie dialog has been answered and when selecting “Necessary only” Albertson is still setting tracking cookies by Doubleclick, Google and I guess they consider it necessary to track their users and break the law.




LTK has gone with the “screw it all, no one cares” approach and is setting 12 cookies without even offering visitors any say in the matter. They are loading a myriad of 3rd-party JavaScript tracking and are not only breaking the law in multiple Countries and US states, but also running a shared legal risk with all the “friends” they are sharing data with, if they should have a data breach.




I fear repeating myself, but several cookies and JavaScript trackers are loaded before any consent has been given. Even when only allowing essential cookies, TodayTix wants to share tracking data with Google and Adobe. Facebook, Segment, and DoubleClick are among the receivers of TodayTix’s user tracking data via JavaScript.


Each nominated site is violating not only the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) but also multiple laws in six US states that have enacted data protection legislation, including the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA).

Our intention is not to specifically criticize the nominees. Instead, we aim to highlight the widespread issue of illegal user tracking in the e-commerce industry. The Webby Awards may have benefited from conducting more thorough research and selecting projects that do not violate their users' privacy. The few websites that do respect user privacy, are the true leaders in the industry, and represent where we should be heading. However, it may require a few more high-profile legal cases to draw attention from developers, marketers, and website owners.


By Ronni K. Gothard Christiansen 

Creator, AesirX Ltd.

447 Broadway, 2nd Floor Suite #1305, New York,

New York 10013, United States

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