Aug 2, 2010

The Business of Online Ads and Browsers

The Wall Street Journal recently published a few articles on Online Privacy issues. In "Microsoft Quashed Effort to Boost Online Privacy," the article points out that today's browser business is primarily in support of advertising sales:

As online advertising grows more sophisticated, companies playing prominent roles in consumers' online experiences have discovered they have access to a valuable trove of information. In addition to Microsoft, such companies include search-engine giant Google Inc., iPhone maker Apple Inc., and Adobe Systems Inc., whose Flash software makes much of the Internet's video, gaming and animation possible. These companies now have a big say in how much information can be collected about individual users.

The article details the internal struggle at vendors who are in the business of producing browsers and online advertising solutions. Big stakes for all, basically putting the consumer in charge of their privacy. As if we had a clue. This was the topic of a conversation I was having with Diana Kelley at SecurityCurve this morning; consumers have little to no idea what's being tracked or how. We trust the vendors and the providers that they have our best interests in mind when in fact they have their own best interests in mind. That usually involves making as much money as they can giving away free stuff to consumers.

For more insight on what is tracked and by whom, check out WSJ's article "What They Know."

No comments: