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US lawmakers have been itching for a good excuse to slap mandatory security guidelines on online behavioral ad targeting schemes, and apparently, they've found it.
Google's new plan introduced Wednesday to track individual users' browser history to target ads was just the ticket for Democrat Rep. Rich Boucher, the newly-minted chairman of the House subcommittee on communications and the internet.
Every politician needs a target to demonize.
Making this Opt-IN instead of Opt-out would relieve many concerns that people have about behavioral targeting in general, and about this program in particular.
I'm guessing they made this Opt-out because the rightfully guessed that very few surfers would Opt-In.
AFAIK the this is what doubleclick already did for years, it's nothing new
The size of the tracking database is what draws attention to Google's actions now. Every single Google service if "phoning home" the user behaviour. Youtube, Gmail, Google maps, Analytics, Blogger, Feedburner, Adsense, and of course search - put all of this together, and Google knows what you are interested in, and what you are looking at right now.
Doubleclick alone was "just" an ad serving company. Google is much more, and thus much more dangerous.
Same goes for online. If you want to see ads based on your past history, it should be required that you opt in. That is the easiest thing for the consumer, which is who we are supposed to be putting first, right? A "do no evil" philosophy would require people to opt in, and not take advantage of them not knowing their history is determining which ads they see.