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AFTER reading about how Internet companies like Google, Microsoft and Yahoo collect information about people online and use it for targeted advertising, one New York assemblyman said there ought to be a law.So he drafted a bill, now gathering support in Albany, that would make it a crime — punishable by a fine to be determined — for certain Web companies to use personal information about consumers for advertising without their consent.
And because it would be extraordinarily difficult for the companies that collect such data to adhere to stricter rules for people in New York alone, these companies would probably have to adjust their rules everywhere, effectively turning the New York legislation into national law.
Tracking Web Surfer Clicks Comes Under Scrutiny [nytimes.com]
[edited by: engine at 6:50 pm (utc) on Mar. 20, 2008]
OK, I know I'm about to drift slightly off topic but this topic of personalized tracking hits a sore spot.
Here's where I have issues...
Maybe they should be more concerned about the mobile phone tracking technology, think about the ads on "Minority Report".
Remember the personalized advertising as Tom Cruise walked past the signs?
It's all possible today thanks to your cell phone!
Whether the sign talks to the person walking by or your proximity to the location results in your cell phone getting a text message, it's the same thing. Just wait until you get a discount coffee coupon as you get near StarBucks or a discount for a Big Mac as you stroll close to McD's, that's going to be intrusive. Not only that, just in case you don't know how to get to the place, they'll include a little map from your current location.
If you don't think it's coming, the technology is basically here and people are already testing it.
Your phone number typically isn't a cookie you can easily discard either like the online tracking issue.
Speaking of tracking things, anyone use those FastTrak passes for toll roads?
Yup, with a combination of cell phones and electronic toll payment big brother is watching us and know exactly where we are at all times, just don't show targeted advertising and let the masses know they're being tracked.
Maybe Google should just donate to the New York assemblyman's re-election campaign and make this all go away.
[edited by: incrediBILL at 6:30 pm (utc) on Mar. 20, 2008]
Google uses Tracking to some extent, but I always thought it was the Context Sensitive advertising platform that is giving it an edge over MicroHoo.