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The web is buzzing today after Sir Tim Berners-Lee rejected net tracking and voiced concerns about privacy and data sharing.

Sir Tim stated that:

"I myself feel that it is very important that my ISP supplies internet to my house like the water company supplies water to my house. It supplies connectivity with no strings attached. My ISP doesn't control which websites I go to, it doesn't monitor which websites I go to."

The problem is that there are a huge number of ad targeting methods on the market from services such as Omniture to Google Adsense and, like it or not, companies know where you have been online.

Every time you search on Google or view an Adsense ad Google tracks you and uses the information to serve targeted ads in the future.

Search for a loan on Google and it is likely that any Adsense or Adwords ads you see for the next hour might be targeted towards loans.

Now that Google owns DoubleClick the combined data is simply huge and with the processing power Google has it is probably more powerful than the data your ISP holds.

If users don't need to opt-in with Google why should they need to opt-in with an ISP?


Published 17 March, 2008 by Patrick Altoft

55 more posts from this author

Comments (2)



It scares me more and more to see how google can become the next big brother. I'm not against tracking in general but to leave it to one major company - that is dangerous for me as an ordinary internet user and me as a professional dealing with this type of business

over 8 years ago



We are dealing with a duopoly, Google (double click) and Microsoft (yahoo). They are like the banking industry - collecting your information then analysing it and finally selling it back to you via advertisers.

It’s no longer about just selling advertisers good placements on websites it’s about selling users to marketers and companies.


Marcos Richardson
Tel: +44 (0)207 379 3300
Fax: +44 (0)207 379 4400

over 8 years ago

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