Internet Tracking Is Not Equivalent to Real-World Stalking

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dneADOTAS – In The New York Times, Susan Grant, director of consumer protection for the Consumer Federation of America, says: “If someone were following you around in the physical world — tailing you and making note of everywhere you go, what you read, what you eat, who you see, what music you listen to, what you buy, what you watch — you might find this disturbing.”

But the Internet is not the “real world,” and these aren’t scary people with trench coats and fake mustaches trailing consumers but algorithms. Data collectors use cookies to scoop up the browsing history of IP addresses to build profiles that pretty much guess about demographics — if you’re reading mommy blogs, you’re probably a mom yourself.

We need to view the Internet through a different lens, one that has not been fully crafted yet. The world wide web is only 20 years old, the Internet has been tooled around with for about half a century. Because of rapid technological advancement, as soon as we get used to one model, it completely changes. But first, we must accept that the Internet and the real world operate in very different fashions.

2 COMMENTS

  1. Clearly anyone in online ads will have a perspective that says online tracking is safe. But step outside of the role and look at it from a 360 perspective to see all that is at stake when you can be continuously tracked online.

  2. Come on, we all know not all people is that way –stalkers– but we know that for a few of them the rest suffers the results of their actions and procedures. Just seeing the spam level is enough to assume there will be those who sill cheat on the info or user activities. It all resides on the portals, sites or channels, why facebook ask for physical address or phone number or whatever other information they really don’t need to grant me access to their closed community?

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