I just checked my visitors log and found a link from WIRED that mentions me.
While many websites do not collect names, addresses, Social Security numbers or other “personally identifiable information,” or PII, the information they do collect is extremely revealing. “They don’t need to know your name to know who you are,” Chester said.
A very different perspective came from Mike Zaneis of the Internet Advertising Bureau. Dressed in a much better suit than any other CFP participant, and sporting a John Edwards-quality quaff and a smooth manner, Zaneis faced a hostile, privacy-loving crowd.
Zaneis stressed that profiling does not capture PII. But the audience appeared to agree with Chester that browsing history and search information was nonetheless private. “My clickstream data is sensitive information,” said privacy activist Kaliya Hamlin, known as the Identity Woman, “and it belongs to me.”
I am not sure that I would describe myself as a privacy activist but rather an end-user advocate passionate about open standards.
I found the panel described in the article frustrating. It was one angry progressive anti-consumer guy vs. the super corporate marketing guy. The ‘activist types’ tend to deny that we are people who actually might want to buy things in a market place. The ‘corporate types’ tend to think that we always want to have ‘advertising’ presented to us at all times of day or night because we ‘want it.’ Neither view is really right. I pointed out that there was an option to give users back their ‘attention’ (clickstream) data from the sites that they visit. There could be ways to actually express one’s market needs/preferences and get advertising related to that specific need (this is not enabled anywhere that I know of right now). The VRM (Vendor Relationship Management) discussion is getting interesting and hopefully we can talk more about the issues raised in the space in between privacy and advertising at IIW next week.