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Pro-targeting guest column on CNet

Nofsck Ingcloo (145724) writes | more than 2 years ago

Privacy 1

Nofsck Ingcloo (145724) writes "CNet has published a guest column by Eric Wheeler warning the world of the evil consequences of Do Not Track. In it he makes strong (I would claim exaggerated) arguments in favor of targeted advertising. He claims the threat of political action on Do Not Track should, "strike fear into the hearts of every company that does business online...." He speaks of compromising a $300 billion industry, which I read as being the industry composed of online advertisers and all their clients. He clearly thinks the tradeoff between freedom from snooping and free access to web content always favors free acccess. He concludes his arguments by saying, "Taken as a whole, the potentially dire impact of Do Not Track is clear: the end of the free internet and a crippling blow to the technology industry." He then goes on to advocate contacting legislators and the FTC in opposition to Do Not Track."

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Wheeler's article needs a rebuttal, and I have som (1)

Nofsck Ingcloo (145724) | more than 2 years ago | (#41399645)

He throws the word "anonomous" around as though it was honestly being applied or even possible to achieve. Balderdash!

He spends considerable effort pointing out the amount of money to be made by advertisers and advertising media. This argument is rooted in the premise that we live in a consumerist economy and that because advertising increases consumption it is a good thing. In case you haven't noticed, we are in economic trouble precisely because people were encouraged to spend beyond their means and it has come back to bite us. So no, that which encourages consumption is NOT automatically good for the economy or thise who comprise it.

He tries to make a case for targeted advertising, as opposed to general advertising. Other articles I have read seem to be leading to the conclusion that targeting does not increase the effectiveness of advertising. An even if it does, I don't care because I value my privacy more than his increase of sales.

Would you let someone who wanted to sell you something come into your house and poke around your pantry, your clothes closet, your medicine cabinet, and all your drawers so he could more effectively convince you that his product was something without which you could not live? And spread that knowledge around beyond your control to others unknown to you? I surely would not, and letting someone catalog everything I do on line is at least as creepy as that to me.

So if we have to invent a truly anonymous on-line micro-payment system and use it to fund the parts of the web that we use, I am willing to go that route. Meanwhile, Wheeler should get off my grass.
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