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Tracked on the Web

The World Wide Web evolved from a DARPA project to maintain communications after a nuclear war. It's since turned into a kind of consumer tracking system. Just using a search engine means getting served up text ads from Google or Microsoft, and then you later get spammed based on your queries.

Since tracking can be monetized through ads (Google had $7 billion in cash as of June 30), there's little incentive for change. Microsoft was even found to have dabbled in the use of "supercookies," a tracking method that can't be removed from your browser when you delete regular cookies. Microsoft has since disabled that code, but doubtless others will persist in such methods.

Are voluntary efforts by software companies effective in ensuring privacy? Should tracking and privacy even be an IT concern? Track back some thoughts to Doug at dbarney@redmondmag.com.
-By Kurt Mackie

Posted by Kurt Mackie on 08/24/2011 at 1:18 PM


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