Online Behavioral Tracking Skip to main content Electronic Frontier Foundation Defending your rights in the digital world Search form Main menu Online Behavioral Tracking Who knows what you're doing when you browse the web? New web technology has created many unexpected ways for corporations to track your web activity without your knowledge. New threats include "super-cookies " like Adobe's "Local Shared Objects" and Microsoft's "User Data Persistence." EFF is working with lawmakers to close legal loopholes that enable unscrupulous tracking with corporations to teach them how to manage data responsibly and with the media to educate the public about corporate behavior and user rights. Donate to EFF Stay in Touch NSA Spying eff.org/nsa-spying EFF is leading the fight against the NSA's illegal mass surveillance program. Follow EFF Australia should be getting fair use.
Behavioral Targeting Issue Behavioral targeting provides advertising to Internet users based on Web surfing habits. This ability has enormous benefits to both advertisers and consumers, but has received a fair amount of attention from state and federal legislators because of perceived threats to consumer privacy. Proposed bills in Congress and state legislatures would require that consumers receive notice of behavioral tracking and mandate data deletion and the ability to opt-out of all tracking. Additionally, the Federal Trade Commission has proposed a set of self-regulation guidelines for companies who use behavioral advertising. AAF Position The AAF believes the government should show a real or potential harm before adopting regulations concerning behavioral targeting. Opposition Privacy advocates have decried the use of behavioral targeting, insinuating that the data collection required to provide ads tailored to a consumers interest is too intrusive. In New York, Assembly Bill 9275, introduced by Rep.
Regulation of Behavioral Advertising The targeted Internet advertising phenomenon is viewed with growing concern by privacy advocates who fear that controversial practices like behavioral tracking are ripe for abuse. A coalition of consumer and Internet rights groups have written a joint open letter addressed to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce in which they articulate some specific concerns about behavioral tracking and provide an outline of proposed regulatory guidelines that they believe should be enforced to protect consumers. Behavioral tracking, a practice that is used by all of the major Internet advertising networks, involves building a profile of information about users based on which websites they visit. This information helps ad companies display advertisements that are more narrowly targeted to the interests of individual users. The proposal also calls for new rules to govern data disclosure. This is not an abstract or arbitrary concern. Further reading
» Your iPhone Is Tracking You It turns out the iPhone may be a little sneakier than you thought. According to security researchers, the phone keeps track of everywhere you go, and it then saves the information in a file on the iPhone and on the owner’s computer when the two are synced. This story was first reported by The Guardian (read the original story by clicking here), and it is now sweeping through across the Internet. Many people are upset, claiming this is a huge breach in security, and I have to agree. I wasn’t even that surprised to find out my iPhone is likely storing all my location information.
eXelate Preferences Manager eXelate believes that consumer control is key to delivering a great browsing experience. The data shown represents the information gathered based on the activity of this computer – not an individual user. This page is designed to give you, the consumer, transparency into the information marketers have discovered about your interests through eXelate’s service. To get a snapshot of what our marketing partners have defined as your interests, simply review the sections below. By updating the information below, you will be opting in or out of receiving specific types of targeted ads. If you prefer to have an untargeted ad experience while you surf, simply click the “Opt Out” button and all of your preferences will be cleared. No additional informational cookies will be delivered to you from eXelate. For more information, review the opt-out tool from the Network Advertising Initiative at:
What Do Behavioral Targeters Know About You?: Tech News and Analysis « While relevant advertising is the only kind that’s useful, it’s creepy to see behavioral ads following you around the web, advertising that trip to Hawaii you’d researched last week when you’re just trying to read the news. But perhaps it would be a lot less creepy if you knew when and where you were sharing your data, and when and why you’re being targeted by ads. To that end, you can find out exactly what cookies BlueKai — which says it’s the largest U.S. behavioral data provider, and just raised a third round of $21 million while kicking off its third year of existence — has on you. Head over to BlueKai’s registry and you can see, item by item, recent categories you’ve been slotted into based on your browsing history. Here’s what Bluekai says it knows about me: * Some information about my job that’s not terrifically accurate — I’m in information technology (true) and hospitality (false), I’m at a company with 100+ employees (false). * My gender, age range and geographic area.
Privacy Matters For as long as there’s been advertising, advertisers have aimed to target their ads to the right audience. targeting Beer ads during football games, cosmetics in women's magazines, trailers for coming attractions in the theaters — these are all examples of advertisers targeting products and services to what they hope is the most suitable audience.Internet technology has since created new and sophisticated ways to target “the right message to the right person at the right time.”Today cookies are the tools that give advertisers insight. Before you worry about loss of privacy, remember that you have the choice to turn off targeting practices filtering cookies with your browser or opt out at Advertisers target ads by gauging the content you show interest in—including the sites you visit and the ads you click. examples how it works Location, location, location. Getting to know you. As you surf.
Privacy Lawsuits Increase in 2010 Due to Online Behavioral Tracking | news | press-room Privacy Lawsuits Increase in 2010 Due to Online Behavioral Tracking Boca Raton, Fla. – January 25, 2011 – According to the Information Law Group, which concentrates on legal issues around privacy, data security, information technology and e-commerce, 2010 was a banner year for privacy-related lawsuits. And it may just be the tip of an iceberg of litigation to come. The Information Law Group report indicates that “There has been a significant increase in the volume of privacy lawsuits recently filed and being litigated … in addition to significant settlements on the books,” and adds that “most of the lawsuits cited involve online behavioral tracking.” Given our collective dependence on the Internet to conduct business of all kinds, and the unprecedented profit potential associated with capturing and using all of that online data, is there anything that can be done to thwart the behavioral trackers? About SECNAP
Self-Regulatory Principles for OB Advertising The cross-industry Self-Regulatory Program for Online Behavioral Advertising was developed by leading industry associations to apply consumer-friendly standards to online behavioral advertising across the Internet. Online behavioral advertising increasingly supports the convenient access to content, services, and applications over the Internet that consumers have come to expect at no cost to them. The Self-Regulatory Program is based on the seven Self-Regulatory Principles for Online Behavioral Advertising released in July 2009. The Education Principle calls for organizations to participate in efforts to educate individuals and businesses about online behavioral advertising and the Principles. The Transparency Principle calls for clearer and easily accessible disclosures to consumers about data collection and use practices associated with online behavioral advertising. You can download the complete Self-Regulatory Principles for Online Behavioral Advertising Implementation Guidance