It shouldn’t be that much of a surprise in the Age of Google and Amazon that several companies are conspiring with your ISPs to harvest every last URL you land on, the better to feed you contextual advertising.
Can an Eavesdropper Protect Your Privacy?
By Saul Hansell | April 3, 2008, 5:39 pm
I wrote last month about a new crop of companies that is likely to spawn what I called “the mother of all privacy battles.” These companies put devices inside the data centers of Internet service providers to gather information about every Web site the I.S.P.’s users visit. Their goal is to use this data to display advertising related to what people might want to buy.
That post prompted calls from two of those companies, Phorm and NebuAd, with invitations to learn more about their systems. And earlier this week, I had separate, very long meetings with Robert R. Dykes, the chief executive of NebuAd, and Kent Ertugrul, who has the same position at Phorm.
Their messages were the same: these systems are actually designed to protect the privacy of Internet users more than most of the methods used for targeting advertising today.
And, if you believe that, there’s a certain bridge that connects a couple of boroughs of New York City that’s for sale, and do I have the right price for you if you call this number in the next four minutes.
Saul Hansell’s story is worth reading through, as are the rather extensive comments. These days, one doesn’t need to be paranoid to know that someone is following you.
[Please click the link below for the complete article — but then please come on back!]
Civilization didn’t exist, until humans created technology.
Technology is the enemy of personal privacy.
Babylonians started counting themselves, their livestock and produce more than 5,000 years ago. Civilization never looked back.
The U.S. government is mandated by law to count every single one of its citizens every decade, and gather in the process significant chunks of information. It’s called the census.
Personal privacy has been a fantasy since the first green eyeshade guy rolled up on his stone-wheeled chariot in downtown Babylon. His job: to count you, your three wives, your seven children, your five cattle, 17 chickens, 13 goats and the 11 bales of wheat you traded from your brother-in-law down the Euphrates, probably for that pretty but high maintenance fourth wife, and tax you 79 coppers.
In this wired age, the fantasy of privacy is even less attainable. But maybe we should be pushing back, draw that line in the sand. Check back with Saul Hansell regularly. I know I will.
Might be worth giving some coppers, and some convenience, to make it a little less easy for them.
It’s it for now. Thanks,
Note!: the link to Anonymizer.com used above is for the convenience of faithful reader and represents no commercial relationship whatsoever. Left-Handed Complement should be so fortunate as to ever collect remuneration of any kind for this endeavor, and in any event it’s against WordPress.com’s rules. I can link, so I link. It’s technology. It’s cool. It’s an artifact of Sequitur Service©. Deal with it.
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