|03 Jul 2012||#1|
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Data Snatchers! The Booming Market for Your Online Identity
Make no mistake, your personal data isn’t your own. When you update your Facebook page, “Like” something on a website, apply for a credit card, click on an ad, listen to an MP3, or comment on a YouTube video, you are feeding a huge and growing beast with an insatiable appetite for your personal data, a beast that always craves more. Virtually every piece of personal information that you provide online (and much that you provide offline) will end up being bought and sold, segmented, packaged, analyzed, repackaged, and sold again.
The “personal data economy” comprises a menagerie of advertisers, marketers, ad networks, data brokers, website publishers, social networks, and online tracking and targeting companies, for all of which the main currency—what they buy, sell, and trade—is personal data.
“Once collected, our data ends up in unexpected—and unwanted—places, and spam emails, inclusion in harmful information databases, and even identity theft can follow.”
“[A]n arms race [is] going on in the data economy right now,” says Shane Green, CEO of Personal.com, which offers a personal data management tool for consumers. “Everybody is working hard to find differentiated data, and differentiated analytics.”
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