In an interesting article on Yahoo! Tech this afternoon, web founder (who helped develop the HTTP technology that runs the web) Tim Berners-Lee, spoke to a consortium in Madrid about online privacy. The discussion in question was a new piece of software that will allow ISPs to track demographics and deliver advertising to customers. Quoting Berners-Lee: “The postman does not open my mail, the telephone company does not listen to my telephone conversations. Internet use is often more intimate than those things.”. Word.
It seems like a lot of broad-band technologies seem to be taking a more pro-active approach to their advertising. I mentioned earlier cable television networks plan to do the same thing- gather localized demographics about what you watch and use it to target advertising.
Y’know, so many services gather incomprehensible amounts of data about us wherever we go, the pessimist in me thinks this argument is just a drop in the bucket even from the Founder.