from the corporate-self-regulation-isn't-working dept
Someone at News.com takes a look at some of the new services out there that are set up to find out what people actually do online and concludes that corporate self-regulation of privacy issues doesn’t work very well. Basically, the way it stands now (it seems) is that as long as the company tells you (in very small print surrounded by unreadable legalese) that they’re going to watch everything you do online, then they can. These companies are trying to sell “clickstream” data to different sites to find out what people really do online. Some of the companies tie in to the ISPs, while others ask users to add a browser companion or some other script onto their own machines. However, they seem to capture everything that a user does – it’s a self-installed Carnivore, basically. One company even admits that they use their system to check on the bank accounts of people who sign up to “verify” the info they provide on household income. That’s scary.