Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Cookie Wars: How New Data Profiling and Targeting Techniques Threaten Citizens and Consumers in the “Big Data” Era

From the abstract: "Digital marketers have unleashed powerful and far-reaching data collection, profiling, and targeting technologies online, incorporating the latest developments in such fields as semantics, artificial intelligence, auction theory, social network analysis, data mining, and neuroscience. Consumers and policymakers, however, are largely unaware of how online advertising operates nor are they prepared to assess the impact of tracking technologies that monitor our travels on the Internet and generate information for digital targeting profiles. Unlike more traditional advertising, digital marketing watches us, relying on such techniques as data optimization, “self-tuning” algorithms, “intent” data, and “immersive” multimedia to enable personalized, highly targeted marketing. Such marketing has also been integrated into the core business models of social networks, mobile communications, gaming platforms, virtual worlds, and online video. With the repeated failure of industry self-regulation, strong privacy safeguards are urgently needed, including provisions that will fully apprise consumers of the privacy implications of contemporary digital data collection practices." Read more