Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Web's Hot New Commodity: Privacy

The Wall Street Journal provided an interesting article "Web's Hot New Commodity: Privacy,"which addresses issues on online privacy and efforts to commercialize both the sale and protection of personal information.

"The Wall Street Journal's year-long What They Know investigation into online tracking has exposed a fast-growing network of hundreds of companies that collect highly personal details about Internet users—their online activities, political views, health worries, shopping habits, financial situations and even, in some cases, their real names—to feed the $26 billion U.S. online-advertising industry."

"Lawmakers this month introduced two separate privacy bills in Congress, and in December the Obama administration called for an online-privacy "bill of rights." The Federal Trade Commission is pushing for a do-not-track system inspired by the do-not-call registry that blocks phone calls from telemarketers."

Companies are making a lot of money selling people's very personal information.  There are commercial opportunities to try to protect people against that - and even to let them profit from selling their own personal information.

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