Posted by: Mike P. | March 1, 2010

Corporate Tracking

While usually linked with Google, the concept of information gathering and profile generating is not limited to just that corporation. These are hard concepts to understand, but we must begin to educate the public on them and how the collection and linking of this information can impact their lives.

Right now it is possible to buy a credit report, and you can pretty much buy a credit report on anyone you want to. Sure there are rules, and that is good. Particularly since the very act of requesting a credit report lowers the score of said report.

But, how long before internet browsing reports are going to become available?

Recently, a free local news paper was launched. This paper has a fair amount of political commentary in it, and I suspect quite a few local politicians read it. Perhaps they read the print version, which would be a good idea since the website is hacked. I notified the paper about the hack, but never heard back. Most likely the hackers are just your garden variety hack anything that can be and put up stupid ads and the like. But, at least occasionally, the site tries to download a trojan backdoor on to my computer. How many local elected and higher level non-elected officials have been compromised? How much information could be gathered?

So, between the “legal” methods of data gathering and the “illegal” methods, quite a bit of information about you is likely to be available. And if not available yet, it will be coming soon to a market near you.

And if you are on a local civic board evaluating a bid or a zoning change, how long before your personal thoughts on the topic or your browsing habits are up for sale to those who wish to convince you to vote a particular way?

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