Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Consumers and privacy

A key method of information access for consumers is via a web browser.  The browsers have enabled plethora of data to be connected in forms that can be utilized for analysis.  Interestingly, it is still the wild west on the net when it comes to collecting consumer information.  Though things are changing:

"In December 2010 America's Federal Trade Commission proposed adding a “do not track” (DNT) option to internet browsers, so that users could tell advertisers that they did not want to be followed. Mozilla's Firefox, Microsoft's Internet Explorer and Apple's Safari all offer DNT; Google's Chrome is due to do so this year. In February the FTC and the Digital Advertising Alliance (DAA), a consortium of trade bodies, agreed that the industry would get cracking on responding to DNT requests. In the European Union a new rule requires websites to ask before using “cookies” to gather data about users' behaviour."

Interestingly, Microsoft is starting to take the lead:

"On May 31st Microsoft set off the row. It said that Internet Explorer 10, the version due to appear with Windows 8, a new incarnation of the software firm's operating system, would have DNT as a default."

"Brendon Lynch, Microsoft's chief privacy officer, blogged: “We believe consumers should have more control.” Could it really be that simple?"

Read the complete article on The Economist here.

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