Streams

Online Tracking Is Getting Creepier

Monday, June 23, 2014

(powtac/flickr)

Julia Angwin explains how the marketers that follow you around the Web are getting nosier, increasingly seeking users' offline data—such as how many kids you have and what kind of car you drive—to target you with even more intrusive ads. Her ProPublica investigation “Why Online Tracking Is Getting Creepier” shows how this process of matching users' online and offline identities, often called "onboarding," works and why it’s a hot trend in Silicon Valley. Onboarding can be used to tag specific customers, such as big spenders, so that when they visit the client's Website it's customized to show them more expensive offerings.

Guests:

Julia Angwin

Comments [16]

Andy

Nature Magazine publishes short science fiction stories each week as a feature called Futures. In April the story was titled "Pop-ups" which is a look into the near future where one can get a chip implanted that works as internet connection/virtual reality display. This imagined future if full of advertisements.

http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v508/n7497/full/508560a.html

Audio version (5 minutes) is here

http://www.nature.com/nature/podcast/index-futures-2014-05-12.html

Jun. 25 2014 01:17 PM
Edward from Washington Heights AKA pretentious Hudson Heights

Do the computers at Apple Stores take your picture with camera built into every laptop/ipad when you use it?

Jun. 23 2014 01:05 PM
BK from Hoboken

Can the guest elaborate on Apples iBeacon? When the last IOS was released Apple made a big deal about this in there B to B sales, bit was very hush about it to consumers. I googled iBeacon and couldn't find anything about it. It literally tracks your location down to a couple square feet.

Jun. 23 2014 12:39 PM
Amy from Manhattan

So hackers can turn on your computer's camera w/out the "camera on" light turning on?

Jun. 23 2014 12:38 PM
Amy from Manhattan

What does Ms. Angwin think of DuckDuckGo & other browsers that don't track your searches? How much does it help just to not have your searches & where you go from the search page tracked?

Jun. 23 2014 12:36 PM
Jessie Lydia P Henshaw from Way Uptown

It seems to always get missed... the BIG ISSUE... is that the web if FUNDED, not just by "a lot" of privacy invasion, but the businesses of the web having a business model of ever increasing use of privacy invasion to manipulate its users... It's what business generally fall into when people don't pay for the products they like. So... to get OUR "theft of services" we pay for it by creating a "BIG BROTHER" society to live in.

This is actually important to get that added aspect of it... WE'RE doing it.

Jun. 23 2014 12:33 PM
Steve from NYC

Leonard, you can stop saying that Wikipedia has your birth date wrong. They don't. It was corrected, and now is listed as Unknown, and it has been listed that way for months.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leonard_Lopate#cite_note-1

Jun. 23 2014 12:32 PM
foodaggro from Brooklyn

Vocal fryyyyyyy ...

Jun. 23 2014 12:31 PM
JR from NYC

Angwin is imparting very valuable and important information, but she has an unfortunate voice (vocal fry, overperkiness, hyena laugh, and some other traits like turning the sibilant S into "sh") like so many contemporary female journalists, and she should not answer questions with "So..."

Jun. 23 2014 12:27 PM
Online Monitoring Svcs

M00254X: Julia Angwin vehicle type successfully updated from Toyota to Honda

Jun. 23 2014 12:27 PM
Amy from Manhattan

It's not always that obvious when you're giving Google or Facebook access to your info. For example, a lot of sites have embedded searches or maps that don't show that they're from GoogleMaps until after you click on them.

And it's not that inconvenient to reenter your ID, etc., on a website if you don't want to accept cookies from it. The problem is that in many cases some of the site's functionality is unavailable if you block cookies.

Jun. 23 2014 12:25 PM

PLEASE NOTE and ask the guest: From Huffington Post: "If it is all about the data these days, Acxiom's AboutTheData site has gotten it all wrong...The site does not live up to this promise. In fact, it falls so short of delivering on this objective that one questions whether that was the site's objective in the first place. The site received mixed to scathing reviews from The New York Times, CNET, Business Insider, GigaOm, and hundreds of bloggers who track the marketing data space."

Jun. 23 2014 12:24 PM

PLEASE NOTE and ask the guest: From Huffington Post: "If it is all about the data these days, Acxiom's AboutTheData site has gotten it all wrong...The site does not live up to this promise. In fact, it falls so short of delivering on this objective that one questions whether that was the site's objective in the first place. The site received mixed to scathing reviews from The New York Times, CNET, Business Insider, GigaOm, and hundreds of bloggers who track the marketing data space."

Jun. 23 2014 12:23 PM
Allison from Brooklyn

What happens when you go to one of those sites that offer digital coupons for other websites. Today I just used a 15% off coupon from one site to purchase merchandise on a well-known commercial website. But does the coupon site sweep up all the information you type into the destination site when you place an order using the coupon? Thanks very much for the info!

Jun. 23 2014 12:22 PM
Whodat from nyc

Hi there,
Sorry but you can remove tracking. It requires that you give up something. But web developers and engineers have built tools that can remove spyware or detect it for a long time now. We don't like being tracked anymore than anyone else.

Here is a nice tool to check on whose looking at you.
lightbeam at Mozilla.

30

Jun. 23 2014 12:22 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

I've got old dual core CPU computer and it is always being messed up by pop-ups and javascripts running wild freezing everything up. And its mostly due to the advertizers who are constantly in your face. It's the constant nuisance factor, especially having to reboot my machine all the time thanks to their adware running amok. I don't mind them tracking my interests and wants, but I do very much mind their constantly messing up my machine.

Jun. 23 2014 12:12 PM

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