Why Online Tracking Is Getting Creepier

June 13th, 2014

Via: Pro Publica:

The marketers that follow you around the web are getting nosier.

Currently, many companies track where users go on the Web—often through cookies—in order to display customized ads. That’s why if you look at a pair of shoes on one site, ads for those shoes may follow you around the Web.

But online marketers are increasingly seeking to track users offline, as well, by collecting data about people’s offline habits—such as recent purchases, where you live, how many kids you have, and what kind of car you drive.

Here’s how it works, according to some revealing marketing literature we came across from digital marketing firm LiveRamp…

3 Responses to “Why Online Tracking Is Getting Creepier”

  1. JWSmythe Says:

    I can confirm that online and offline association of your personal information is done. It’s been done for years. Store cards, surveys, magazine subscriptions, public records (buy a house, car, enroll your kids in school), apply for store credit, buy or use credit cards, have a phone, . If there’s a little bit of data to associate record A with B, they’ll tie them together.

    Some of those associations are amazingly loose, and some companies put pieces of data together that don’t actually go together.

    Pretty much, assume anyone asking for anything more than cash for product is datamining.

    You can totally screw them up though. I use a few different names, depending on how much they really need to know. Does some web site really need *my* name, city/state/country, email address, DOB? No. They need one of my online names, and one of my throwaway email addresses, because sure as hell they’ll send me an email to confirm that address is me.

    Ya Kevin, I’m pretty sure I lied on most of the registration info for here too. 🙂 I’m confident you weren’t datamining me. It’s just out of habit now.

  2. Kevin Says:

    You suggest that making aliases on the web does something to protect your privacy, which is absurd, and I think you know that.

    People reading need to know that making aliases on the web does nothing to keep corporate and federal systems from tracking them.

  3. Windhorse Says:

    The project will determine “the critical mass (tipping point)” of social contagians by studying their “digital traces” in the cases of “the 2011 Egyptian revolution, the 2011 Russian Duma elections, the 2012 Nigerian fuel subsidy crisis and the 2013 Gazi park protests in Turkey.”

    Twitter posts and conversations will be examined “to identify individuals mobilised in a social contagion and when they become mobilised.”

    I love it…”Contagions”…like …er..zombies?

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.