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Data Sharing and Privacy Concerns

It seems like I'm hearing more and more about the privacy concerns surrounding online marketing. While this has been an issue for awhile, it could be soon reaching a boiling point. For a lot of people, Facebook's Beacon initiative put online privacy concerns on the map. I recently heard a piece on NPR regarding protecting your children from those vicious online marketers. It was just a little one-sided and motivated me to call in to the NPR show for the first time in my life--which I later realized made me the oldest person I know. Another fascinating article, which had a similar doomsday feel, was a NYT piece entitled, "To Aim Ads, Web Is Keeping Closer Eye on You." And to top it all off, Anil Batra's "Web Analysis, Behavioral Targeting and Advertising" blog just posted the following:
One New York assemblyman, Richard L. Brodsky, has drafted a bill 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.
While I do believe much of the fear is based on a lack of understanding; I also believe this issue will need to be addressed sooner or later--especially now that big bad Google is now allowing us to opt-in to analytics data sharing as well as target our ads based on demographics (also see this post). Additionally, the fact that Google is uncomfortable with the title "behavioral targeting" speaks volumes as they are beginning to take tactical measures to invalidate the finger pointing. ...Keeping you protected from the savage data sharing pirates; I'll provide updates when it's safe to do so.

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