said by justbits:
This is a big privacy concern. This would be similar to someone spying on you, noticing that you visit certain stores, keeping track of the general category of things you buy and you suddenly getting junk mail and TV advertisements related to the stuff you're already buying or looking at.
Ummm.. that happens now. And it's not "spying", that would be illegal. Credit card companies sell this information. If you have a supermarket discount card, they sell that information. Marketing companies take all kinds of demographic and public-record information and sell it. You get targeted ads all the time unless you're paranoid about it and put yourself off the grid on purpose.
This is another example of the delusion people here seem to have. I call it "Web sites are special, magic places." People here seem to think that because something is happening on the Web, normal rules and considerations don't apply. Well, they do. If people are doing business on the Web, it'll be like business outside the Web. They'll look to gather consumer information to do targeted advertising. This has been going on ever since direct mail advertising, long, long before the Web or TV or even radio existed.
Maybe I'm just not of the mindset of people here. I really don't have a problem with my generic product and market preference information being out there, in trade for me getting lower-cost access to many things I want to participate in. Advertising revenue is what makes a whole lot of content businesses fly. And that revenue increases the better targeted the advertising market is.
These people really don't care about your personally identifiable information (PII). They care about your demographic, your buying tendencies, your response to different kinds of advertising. So there really is little cause for privacy concerns, unless you think "privacy" includes "the ability to observe behavior of consumers in a market".
And what is the big deal about ads? Why are ads such an affont to people? You pay attention to them or you don't. Big freaking deal. I have no problem clicking close on a window, or hanging up the phone, or recycling junk mail, or deleting spam e-mail. All those things take up maybe 10 minutes a day, total. I spend more time shaving and brushing my teeth.