Monday, March 04, 2013

Privacy v. behavioral tracking are really at odds in Silicon Valley


Companies in Silicon Valley are still trying to have it both ways in the privacy area.  Microsoft Internet Explorer, Firefox, and maybe some other browsers are migrating toward leaving anti-tracking turned on (Chrome apparently does not).  At the same time, advertisers say this will not stop them from trying to do behavioral advertising.
  
There is a long story by Somini Sengupta in the Business Day section of the Monday March 4 New York Times, “Web privacy becomes a business imperative”, here.  And, yes, Sengupta mentions the war of words in the industry these days, including “scroogled”.

Included in the discussion are alternatives to allowing Facebook to manage your signons to many sites.  I generally feel it is safer not to allow one service to monitor my signons (although other companies are offering systems purported to be more secure).  I generally keep paper records off-line of how to sign-on, particularly when traveling.
  
I generally do not announce my whereabouts in advance are share events I will attend in advance globally.  Still, I can tell that the ads I get know where I am (I noticed this particularly when I was in Dallas and later L.A.)  Possibly a hacker or criminal could try to misuse this information.  (The plot of the current soap opera “Days of our Lives” right now is predicated on major cell phone hacking.)   Most of what I consider worth publishing (except very personal matters like medical and financial or tax) are for “everyone” and I have little need to share information in varied “concentric circles”.  My own life just isn’t that complicated. 
I do think that business centers in hotels should work on making the communications for guests much more secure.  

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