A few weeks ago, I purchased a pair of skis online from a well-known company. Since then, whenever I am on the Internet, the ads from that same company keep popping up. Don’t they realize I’m done with buying skis?
And how can this happen?
Tracking cookie technologies enable companies to keep a running log of the web pages that Internet users go to. This means that even when you think you’ve deleted something, it is still there, thanks to the technology. Tech companies and ad networks have been using these online tracking technologies for more than a decade to help advertisers deliver more relevant ads to each viewer.
Apple, Microsoft, Google and Mozilla are some of the most popular browsers that are tracking wherever you go online.
And Now Facebook Is Doing It Too
From USA Today:
Facebook officials are now acknowledging that the social media giant has been able to create a running log of the web pages that each of its 800 million or so members has visited during the previous 90 days. Facebook also keeps close track of where millions more non-members of the social network go on the Web, after they visit a Facebook web page for any reason.
To do this, the company relies on tracking cookie technologies similar to the controversial systems used by Google, Adobe, Microsoft, Yahoo and others in the online advertising industry, says Arturo Bejar, Facebook’s engineering director.
Facebook’s efforts to track the browsing habits of visitors to its site have made the company a player in the “Do Not Track” debate, which focuses on whether consumers should be able to prevent websites from tracking the consumers’ online activity.
Companies say tracking helps them serve you better, and that’s fine, if it is what you choose. But what if you don’t want them to track you? And how else is this information being used? Could it be sold to third parties?
A Gallup poll taken last December found that U.S. Internet users would welcome a “Do Not Track” measure.
Take Action Now!
If you agree that it should be illegal for advertisers to track your online activities, please click here to tell Apple, Microsoft, Google, and Mozilla to give us strong, effective Do Not Track tools for Christmas!
And Congress must act too.
In fact, a “Do Not Track” measure is being considered now: new guidelines for online privacy are being hashed out in Congress and by the World Wide Web Consortium, which sets standards for the Internet.
If privacy advocates get their way, consumers soon could be empowered to stop or limit tech companies and ad networks from tracking them wherever they go online. Naturally, the online advertising industry is trying to retain the current self-regulatory system.
Tell Congress To Stand Up For Better Online Protection
As millions of Americans do their holiday shopping online, we want to send a loud and clear message from those who want an enforceable right to say NO to online tracking. Congress has the power to make these companies listen to you. Click here to tell your elected officials to act now to protect your family ‘s online activities.
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