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Old 11-01-2010, 12:42 PM   #1
Registered: Oct 2006
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user browsing behavior tracking and security concerns

I have asked a question where I was having a Pop up window opening.
Which was solved on this link

I have some concerns as why do people on above thread are concerned about tracking web browsing behavior by trackers.
I am not a web expert so want to know with some argument if some one can tell what are the security concerns with respect to trackers?I am not convinced with any of logics the people gave on above thread.
Since this question is entirely different than the original question so it is a new thread.
Old 11-01-2010, 01:31 PM   #2
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The fact is that there are a large number of businesses that collect information about you. They may or may not be able to identify you when you go to a web site, they just see your IP address. But other sources may connect your name and address to that IP address.

Now that data storage devices are so huge and so inexpensive almost anyone can collect large volumes of information about anyone. The Internet helps to facilitate this.

The problem for the average law abiding person is the loss of privacy. It makes no sense that a large corporation should know more about you than does your own mother.

Some years ago IBM created a series of television commercials trying to make this loss of privacy sound like a good thing. They had a group of people complaining that they had gotten coupons in the mail for items that they don't need. The idea of the ad was that if businesses knew more about you they could send coupons for things that you want.

Nevertheless this is the real Big Brother coming to maturity. Government isn't Big Brother, corporations are.

My cable television provider, Comcast, recently switched from analog service to all digital service. The way that digital television works is that your television or converter box acts as a computer node on a regular computer network. It is possible for the cable television provider to know what channel you are watching at any given time and even if you have the volume up or down or muted. This can be used to compete with the Nielsen ratings service. That's good. It can also be used to create a profile of your television viewing interests. It can even be used to create a profile of when you are probably home or not at home unless you leave your television on all of the time.

These types of information gathering businesses can use their power for good for for evil. Since they are profit driven then they will probably sell information about you to anyone who has enough money to purchase that information. That is bad.

Once these businesses have enough empirical information about you they can then start to make fairly accurate speculations about things that they don't actually know. For example if they know your home address and the type of car that you own then they can infer your income.

I am in favor of keeping information about myself out of commercial databases. That is one reason that I don't put a lot of information about myself in my LQ profile or any other database. People may think that filling in data sheets about yourself on LQ or Facebook or other social web sites is harmless. I say it is all fun and games until someone gets their identity stolen.

You have to regard your personal information, including which web sites you visit, as personal and confidential. There are a lot of clever people who can find ways of using your personal information to do you harm. (and that includes the various governments)

So I use noscript and web of trust in Firefox, and web of trust in Internet Explorer. I don't access my bank account over the Internet. I try to be cautious about which web sites I visit. I severely limit which Internet retail vendors that I patronize. I have fake names for my Yahoo mail and my Facebook page. (I only have a Facebook page to see what it is and how it works.) And I would NEVER put my resume on a job search web site.

That does not ensure that I am safe. I see these policies as simply not waving a flag at the identity thieves. But, as I mentioned, even the legitimate businesses are collecting too much personal information about their customers. They keep credit card numbers in their possession even though they don't have any legitimate need to do so. (TJ Maxx customers found this out several times along with the customers of other large brick and mortar businesses).

There is entirely too much data collection going on and that's not good for you and me.

Last edited by stress_junkie; 11-01-2010 at 04:00 PM.
Old 11-01-2010, 03:18 PM   #3
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In addition to what stress_junkie typed above I want to add that nothing online is every 100% secure. The information they keep in their databases, who ever keeps it, always has the danger of being hacked or stolen as well. I hear many say they are so secure, nothing like that would ever happen. Well it has and it will again. That is just the nature of the beast in matters like this.

Selling personal information on computers that have been hacked is a HUGE business. A lot of money just for those who get the information and then sell it to others.

Then of course going to less then legitimate websites or dangerous websites (unknowingly clicking or getting redirected there) who also gather this information is not a good thing at all.

Java, Flash are just a couple of security risks involved with all of this.

Last edited by Amdx2_x64; 11-01-2010 at 03:19 PM.


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