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Several Internet and broadband companies have acknowledged using targeted-advertising technology without explicitly informing customers, according to letters released yesterday by the House Energy and Commerce Committee.
And Google, the leading online advertiser, stated that it has begun using Internet tracking technology that enables it to more precisely follow Web-surfing behavior across affiliated sites.
The revelations came in response to a bipartisan inquiry of how more than 30 Internet companies might have gathered data to target customers. Some privacy advocates and lawmakers said the disclosures help build a case for an overarching online-privacy law.
User data should be kept between the user and the site they're visiting. A webmaster has every right to track how people are using his site (based on logs or other sources of analytics data), but said webmaster doesn't have the rights to his competitor's data.
And ISP's? Don't get me started; they don't have a right to ANYONE's data. They're just a carrier.
I know they track what users are searching for, which link they click, which website they go to, how long they spend on each website, which youtube clips your watching, blogs you are blogging, and probably track you around every page of most websites from the huge use of adsense and analytics.
I feel that though Google would be very careful not allow there employees have access to this information, I'm sure a couple of top individuals at Google look at this information everyday.
[edited by: Seb7 at 7:38 pm (utc) on Aug. 28, 2008]