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Some Firms Tracking User Behaviour Without Explicit Consent

   
1:48 pm on Aug 12, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Some Firms Tracking User Behaviour Without Explicit Consent [washingtonpost.com]
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.

2:11 pm on Aug 12, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I don't want to invoke conspiracy theories a la 1984/Big Brother, but how long until the esteemed Dept. Homeland Security is able to obtain this information. My guess is that they wouldn't even need a hint of improper activity, let alone a warrant, to follow you around the web. Think there is any chance of some retro-active governmental protection for the release of information on "suspect" individuals? How long before this information is used for purposes other than advertising/profit?
3:44 pm on Aug 12, 2008 (gmt 0)

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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.

Just begun? LOL
4:51 pm on Aug 12, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Just begun? LOL

Yeah, referring to the DoubleClick technology.
7:53 pm on Aug 12, 2008 (gmt 0)

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And Google, the leading online advertiser

Hire an editor! Google does virtually no advertising. They're they leading provider of advertising services.

8:27 pm on Aug 12, 2008 (gmt 0)

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While I'm normally a Google advocate, Google shouldn't be allowed to track users of other sites simply because they are considered affiliates (via AdSense and Analytics). I'm not sure if that's happening, but that's what I gathered from the reference to the DoubleClick technology.

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.

7:27 pm on Aug 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

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If Google collaborates the amount of data they have access to, they could pretty much follow the daily habits of every single internet user without using any ISP data.

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]

8:55 pm on Aug 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

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This is good news. Now everyone can get ads targeted with their exact type of favorite pornography!