Discussion in 'privacy problems' started by CloneRanger, Dec 21, 2012.
Cash is king
"NEVER MIND: Google Has NOT Figured Out How To Track You Even When You're Offline"
Take a moment to contemplate the ways in which it might be done. I bet you can, without any help,think of one or more approaches that would work. If not, perhaps you'll recall news reports of Facebook partnering with Datalogix to compare Facebook advertising information to actual purchase histories such as those compiled via grocery store and drugstore "loyalty card" programs (http://epic.org/privacy/facebook/facebook_and_datalogix.html)? How about credit card companies using their records of (offline) purchase histories for (online) targeted advertising purposes (background: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204002304576627030651339352.html, up and running for the holidays: http://www.wired.com/business/2012/10/mastercard-data-mining-holidays/)?
Don't let that headline fool you and make no mistake. MANY companies including Google ALREADY KNOW how to track/profile people in both the online and offline worlds and also how to bring that information together. Some companies are already doing this and others are taking steps in that direction. Don't let the claims of anonymity fool you either. Realize that if your purchases, online activity, etc were truly anonymous none of this could be done. Mere promises, particularly from the likes of individuals and companies in these industries, that they will create a layer of abstraction that magically protects your anonymity simply isn't the same thing as anonymity. Not when they, individually and/or collectively as established business partners actively engaged in information sharing, actually have within their database(s) that information which shatters your anonymity and privacy.
I think we have entered an even uglier phase, where the merging and matching of information from online and offline spaces will become significantly more common and destructive to privacy. I'm not yet sure how bad this particular Google thing it, but it does appear to me to be a step down this same ugly road. If an ad click is given a unique identifier, which via electronic information passing or unique coupon code or whatever flows through to an online or offline merchant and purchase where you identify yourself, then a privacy destructive two-way chain of information has been established. Not only can the merchant determine that your purchase tracks back to that specific ad click, Google can determine that the specific ad click was done by you. This opens the door for even more information sharing and correlation, because Google and the merchant could exchange other information they each hold about you and your activities. Which they would surely want to do in order to better target future ads sent/shown to you.
A big lump of coal to all of them I say. Right upside the head. To the rest of you, happy holidays.
YouTube = Google = end of privacy .
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