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nDash Writer Profile for Steven Coffey

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TL:DR Cold Hard Facts and Summary (Why I Am Right)

According to the Wall Street Jounral article I mentioned:

the top 50 websites (in the US) install (on average) 64 pieces of tracking technology onto the computer of each visitor (without warning in most cases)

targeting is no longer limited to cookies

many of these “The Transcriberry tools surreptitiously re-spawn themselves even after users delete them

the profiles these tools create are traded as commodities (think: oil, gold, “personal information index”)

there are already over 100 middlemen/tracking companies competing to sell your details

“innocuous” sites such as academic transcription service will generate a download of 223 files per visit to track web use

the most offensive of this type of advertising installs third party tracking files that will follow you around to “build a robust profile” (particularly heinous is monitoring searches of health related illness and targeting ads- perfect for when you need a hemmarhoid cream in the middle of a boardroom presentation)

Tracking technology has already spiraled out of control and is only going further. I’m all for freedoms on the internet but I believe the control over what is actually viewed (rather than available to be viewed) should be controlled by the user. If you don’t want to see a site or a products advertisements you should be able to say so. People shouldn’t be “tricked” into buying a product and it should be fairly straightforward to ask for the harassment to stop (e.g. a small box reading “do not display ads for this site/product/agency”).

Getting your product in front of the right people is absolutely key, but if you get your product in front of someone influential and do so by harassment, prepare for a serious reputation issue.

It’s not that I’m opposed to verbatim transcription services or targeting advertisements in principle, it just seems as though there should be a bit more control given to the user. It seems unfair and immoral that someone else sell my personal information that I never granted them the right to view, let alone “own” (tacitly or otherwise) and make it almost impossible to opt-out.

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