ISP Web Tracking Hits a SnagCategory: Internet
Posted: September 1, 2008 02:30PM
You would think companies would know better by now....but anything for a quick buck, right? Several ISPs across the U.S. thought they could increase revenues by partnering with a company called NebuAd. The plan sounded simple enough; use NebuAd's web tracking system to help deliver targeted ads to consumers. Even if you've never heard of NebuAd before now, you can probably guess what happened; privacy concerns were immediately raised, even prompting Senate and House sessions on the issue. It's unclear how many, if any, ISPs are still NebuAd users, but it is clear that several have ended their trials indefinitely. Though I see the benefit of such a service by all parties, I think Anick Jesdanun of the Associated Press put it best: "Imagine the post office opening your mail to gauge your preferences and then deciding which catalogs and fliers to leave in your box." Though NebuAd claims they do not read e-mails or register visits to "sensitive" sites, that's not going to ease the minds of most consumers.