questionswould you sell your browsing habits ?


It would be nice if they paid us for what they are basically doing anyway. Because they are already observing our browsing habits. Unless you are deleting temp internet files and cookies every 10 seconds, it is already being done. Look at the targeted ads here. When we have a discussion about something the ads change to fit that discussion.

grocery stores and retail outlets use your purchasing habits to determine what to keep in stock. regardless of how you pay they still keep track through inventory control. If you use a frequent buyer card then they know exactly what YOU purchase and how often.


The frequent buyer card is an excellent example of this. I don't think most people realize that they are being data mined from them but I do. For me it's great. I get a discount (or at least perceived discount) and they get their data. To take it even a step further though, how about I let them setup an app on my phone as well so then they know where I shop in the real world as well ? Is this too big brother? Or is it an attempt to get paid for the inevitable?


@djbowman: :D I have to laugh every time that I hear "big brother is watching"... and this is definitely one of those that I think is largely unknown to the general, mindless masses.

I run about three levels of security also to try to auto-erase and smudge my tracks, but I suppose that I would also be reasonably open to letting someone mine that data, if I were to actually get something reasonably valuable in return. I just haven't seen anything yet for which it's actually been worth selling that sort of information, in my opinion. The only useful tracking I've seen thus far has been what @hobbit has mentioned with grocers, and keeping items stocked.

I'm still questioning this, but I suppose if an offer were to come up, then I'd see what my real stance would be. It's like the concept of using RFIDs in your cell phone so it can act as your credit card, bus pass, passport, job ID card, etc... They already do that in Korea and Japan.


The real problem is that so many of the entities that we do business with have no respect for our privacy and security. There have been too many instances where our data has been stolen because the organizations we do business with haven't bothered to take adequate actions to protect us. Then we get an offer of free credit monitoring for a year or two and then...

I just had my debit card number stolen. It was used to charge something on a Mexican bus company. I had the card. The bank realized it was fraud, shut my card off, but let the fraudulent charge go through. The also charged me an exchange fee for the transaction. When I tried to use the card at the cafeteria at my work, it was declined. So as far as I'm concerned they added insult to injury to insult.

I never use my debit card on line because of concerns about security, but somehow, someone got hold of it. I'll get my money back eventually, but in the meantime it's a big pain.

If I had a choice, I'b be invisible.


occasionally, the benefits of providing browsing/shopping/etc. information are more distributed. my understanding is that Google will farm your browsing history to improve their search algorithms -- it's hard to feel the impact of providing them your browsing history but it is arguably there. of course, you could disable some of this functionality and benefit off of others contributing their browsing history...

where i think this gets interesting is in targeted advertising -- while we generally don't like advertising, if we're going to receive advertising anyway, would we prefer it to be relevant? Hulu used to ask you what ads you want to watch, and now you can thumbs up or down their ads. if you browse tech forums, would you like all your ads to be tech related?

afaik, if companies are putting apps on your phone that tracks where you are, it tends to push advertisements, so if you happen to be walking past a Ben & Jerry's they'll let you know you're nearby or send you a coupon.