What You Can Do To Protect Your Online Privacy

November 16, 2007 at 6:50 pm Leave a comment

The controversies over Facebooks’ advertising strategy time and again underline the dangers eerily sharp; seemingly safe sites don’t blink an eyelid at invading your privacy. The reason? Hyper targeted advertising one day will rake in serious cash. The more data companies accumulate, the more valuable.

The battle for customer clicks resulting in buying action has only just gone underway in earnest. The ground rules might have been spelt out five years ago by Google’s adSense perhaps, but the lack of significant competition has meant that ad blocking apps have been slow to take off.

Other than being hyper aware of what you share on social networks and chat boxes, you should install an effective cooky erasor to prevent your personal search engine details being accumulated. Hopefully increasing competition for Google-type advertising will raise the spectre on regulation and lead to a surge in companies that create the equivalence of data blockers.

Thus far, Ask.com is in the market with a nifty little feature called AskEraser. It is one of the few tools out there dedicated solely to the privacy issue. When the Facebook Beacon drama broke out last month, there was virtually no reference to Ask.com’s device.

Neither have other companies been quick to copy it. That is a shame, but it may take time. Regulators are slow to take a stand on privacy protection issues, and that simply means that a market for cookie erasors is not stimulated. I haven’t checked, but who knows, a crowdsourcing platform might be busy constructing similar apps.

If Ask.com’s market is ill defined as yet, perhaps it could play into people’s sympathy and trust. Its device erases all your tracks on the internet. This way, advertisers will not get hold of them. It deletes your IP address, User ID and Session ID cookies, as well as the complete text of your search query. Catch is that this only occurs if you’re on Ask.com territory. But I will have yet to see if there’s something that is repulsive about that.

Once you have installed the erasor, the device operates over various Ask.com verticals including images, news, blogs, video, and maps & directions. It is certainly worthwhile installing for the time being, whilst awaiting what measures regulators are taking to protect social networks users.

Entry filed under: Green News.

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