07. 13. 2006
The Internet is watching you
Michelle Kessler and Byron Acohido at USA Today have done a fantastic job providing a layman's walkthrough of the current state of consumer data mining. Their article covers both online and offline collection methods to show just how companies get your information, and what they're doing with it. The ultimate value of this data collection is to identify selected subgroups of the population and to hit them with advertisements for products at the time when they are most likely to make a purchase.
A friend of mine was recently approached by a marketing firm and offered close to $50,000 a month for access to his website logs. The company wanted his site statistics for testing of systems that track and record website usage data. In other words: This marketing company tracks what websites you visit and what you do while visiting. New tools are making these data collection efforts easier everyday. The internet is no longer anonymous, but many websites would like you to pretend that it is.
To be honest, there isn't too much to learn about me.