Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween & Do Not Track

First, happy halloween - or should I say: All Hallows Eve. A significant day for Druids and followers of the "old ways." In any case, there seems to be less controversery around this fun and historic day than in recent years when hoards of threatened religious zealots (a lot scarier than a few kids dressed as witches mind you) clammored for an end to it all and the substitution of perfectly horrible harvest festivals. Yech, enough already. Back to the fun. (Image source)

I was very pleased, especially on Halloween, to discover that a group of consumer and technology advocacy organizations have come up with a legislative concept around a much-needed, Internet "Do Not Track" list. It's about time. We've got "Do Not Call" lists, we certainly need an enforceable "Do Not Track" list as a complement. So let's see if we can't build some momentum behind this laudable effort. If you're unclear on the issue at hand, just consider this: the profile that can be accurately constructed from tracking your surfing patterns is a very "intimate" one that reveals way more about your thinking and behavior than most all other data mining efforts. That means a marketing (or government) researcher somewhere tracking your Internet activity could know you a lot better than your friends and family. Now that's a scary thought.

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