Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Fertik's Reputation Defender will develop software tools to allow individuals to charge advertisers for accessing personal information

Michael Fertik and his company “Reputation.com” (that is, Reputation Defender) are developing software products that would allow home users or individuals to charge advertisers to access their personal information.  The project is supported by venture capitalists including Bessemer Ventures and JAFCO, and would involve at least a $40 million investment.

Logically, it would sound as though such a product could also help websites identify minors visiting their site, an issue in the litigation over COPA, the Child Online Protection Act, declared unconstitutional after considerable litigation several years ago.

The news story, by Lindsey Compton, tweeted today, appears on Digital Media Wire today, link here

It remains to be seen how such a product would interact with browser anti-tracking settings (as in Firefox and IE9), or “do not track” proposals being discussed in Congress.  It’s also unclear how this would affect the business model of companies that offer blogging and social networking services (ranging from Blogger and Wordpress to Facebook), supported by advertisers. 

Update: July 21.

There is a coordinated post about a startup company called "Social Intelligence" on my IT Job Market blog (check my Profile).

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