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Google latest tech company to drop anonymous web tracking

Opt-in, but 'a wall has fallen'

     
8:23 am on Oct 24, 2016 (gmt 0)

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At least it's opt-in.... :(

Google Has Quietly Dropped Ban on Personally Identifiable Web Tracking
ProPublica, Oct. 21, 2016
[propublica.org...]

Google is the latest tech company to drop the longstanding wall between anonymous online ad tracking and userís names....

..."The fact that DoubleClick data wasn't being regularly connected to personally identifiable information was a really significant last stand," said Paul Ohm, faculty director of the Center on Privacy and Technology at Georgetown Law.

"It was a border wall between being watched everywhere and maintaining a tiny semblance of privacy," he said. "That wall has just fallen."

My best guess is that this doesn't affect Google organic search, which is why I'm posting it here.
2:26 pm on Oct 24, 2016 (gmt 0)

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Agreed, I doubt it has any impact on the SERPs. As you say, this is just as other companies are doing, and it'll be interesting to see if this gets picked up.

All users of the Internet should look at their privacy settings and change them accordingly, and also should be aware of the limits of true privacy on the Internet.
12:27 am on Oct 28, 2016 (gmt 0)

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Anonymous? Since when?

Robert, Engine; we've been around long enough to remember when an open SMPT relay was considered good netiquette and you were a horrible person if your server didn't provide it!

Privacy and anonymity have never had anything to do with SERPs as far as I can tell. It was always just some sand bagging to assure the "olds" that they didn't need tin foil hats because their government was secretly watching them.

That said, it's interesting just how little coverage this has got, especially if you look back to the earliest posts on this site and other forums (newsgroups - remember them?), and recall how passionate and heated the subjects of privacy and the commercialisation of the internet was, back in the day.

Usually misquoted as "Privacy is dead - get over it" it's actually "You have zero privacy - get over it" and Scott McNealy, CEO of Sun Microsystems, said it in 1999.

If you want privacy, don't use "the internet", or a mobile phone, or IoT whitegoods, or a car less than 8 years old, go to a shopping mall, or walk down the street, or have a bank account, or a passport, or a driver's license or ... .

That said, VPN is my friend, and I check all of the "privacy" settings of my systems after every update, and social media profiles and channels, at least monthly.
1:12 pm on Oct 28, 2016 (gmt 0)

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welcome back, jpalmer. Yes, you're right, we have been around the block. Perhaps you missed the emphasis of the OP message. Something that was not previously personally identifiable, now has the dots joined.

Tracking is becoming de-facto standard across networks, and the membership here "gets it." It's the general Internet population that still doesn't "get it."
8:24 am on Feb 15, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I was GA admin that had the opportunity to parse huge amounts of direct and organic search visits (over 1.5 million per month) with third party service that implemented huge amounts of filters in GA to parse the traffic via the IP of the visitor, ultimately enabling me to create separate audiences based on enterprise, medium and small businesses, looking at the services the website offered. This was done in 2014 and is still in play.

There is more than one way to skin the anonymity cat. The question is how much one is willing to spend to do it.
 

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