The Invisible Web

Your Trip Into the Chapel Perilous

Some Web Firms Say They Track Behavior Without Explicit Consent

Posted by invizweb on August 16, 2008

Thanks to Ralph Bernardo at Disinfo.

Ellen Nakashima writes in the Washington Post:

Several Internet and broadband companies have acknowledged using targeted-advertising technology without explicitly informing customers, according to letters released on August 11 by the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

And Google, the leading online advertiser, stated that it has begun using Internet tracking technology that enables it to more precisely follow Web-surfing behavior across affiliated sites.

The revelations came in response to a bipartisan inquiry of how more than 30 Internet companies might have gathered data to target customers. The revelations came in response to a bipartisan inquiry of how more than 30 Internet companies might have gathered data to target customers. Some privacy advocates and lawmakers said the disclosures help build a case for an overarching online-privacy law.

“Increasingly, there are no limits technologically as to what a company can do in terms of collecting information . . . and then selling it as a commodity to other providers,” said committee member Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), who created the Privacy Caucus 12 years ago. “Our responsibility is to make sure that we create a law that, regardless of the technology, includes a set of legal guarantees that consumers have with respect to their information.”

Read more.

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