This is why metadata collection can come back to harm you…
Rugby player Sonny Bill Williams is a role model for many, a fact that’s not gone un-noticed by the purveyors of a dubious fitness supplement who’ve created an ad that looks an awful lot like a news story about the athlete. Williams has nothing to do with the ad or the product. He’s just been used to get people clicking. And if you do click on the link to the “story”, you’re taken to a page on which you’re offered the chance to buy the supplement.
Once you’ve done so, Australia’s law enforcement authorities will soon have evidence that you’ve visited a site involved in the distribution of probably-not-entirely-legal substances.
That’s not enough to convict you. But if law enforcement authorities are investigating the importation of such substances, the fact that you once succumbed to a clickbait headline in order to read some gossip means you’re suddenly more worthy of investigation.
Welcome to the age of metadata retention, in which clickbait can incriminate you.