Internet Privacy

Privacy or Anonymity

The Wall Street Journal has been running a series on the business of online “spying” for marketing information about web browsers. From today’s installment:

You may not know a company called [x+1] Inc., but it may well know a lot about you.

From a single click on a web site, [x+1] correctly identified Carrie Isaac as a young Colorado Springs parent who lives on about $50,000 a year, shops at Wal-Mart and rents kids’ videos. The company deduced that Paul Boulifard, a Nashville architect, is childless, likes to travel and buys used cars. And [x+1] determined that Thomas Burney, a Colorado building contractor, is a skier with a college degree and looks like he has good credit.

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Google Is Watching Out For You!

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From the only reliable news source on the net, the Onion.  In these days of the White House spamming people with unsolicited e-mails from the master of astroturfing, David Axlerod, in praise of Obamacare, perhaps the concept of privacy is a quaint 20th century notion.  However, there may be a way to have Google protect the privacy of its users.  Bribe the leadership of the People’s Republic of China (Red China) to require it.  Google has a history of giving lap-dog like obedience to edicts issued from Peking.

Update:  The White House has announced that, “We are implementing measures to make subscribing to e-mails clearer, including preventing advocacy organizations from signing people up to our lists without their permission when they deliver petition signatures and other messages on individual’s behalf,” spokesman Nick Shapiro said in a statement tonight.  Translation from Obamaspeak:   “We thought we could get away with simply spamming everybody whose e-mail address we have.  Now that there is a fuss we’ll blame outside groups and pretend we are not at fault.”

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