by Mike Masnick
Wed, May 7th 2008 4:38pm
With all of the fuss finally being raised concerning clickstream tracking by companies like Phorm and NebuAd, there's an effort underway to force ISPs to make any such tracking strictly opt-in. That is, users would have to proactively agree to allow their data to be used in this manner. In response, various marketers are complaining about how much data they would lose, claiming it would be an "armageddon" for the industry. Don't believe them. This is the same thing marketers warned about when the US instituted a "Do Not Call" system, and it's hardly decimated the marketing industry. Instead, it's improved marketing by making firms focus less on intrusive telemarketing and more on useful marketing. The same would happen if ISPs were required to make this an opt-in instead of opt-out setup. It would force the ISPs and companies like Phorm to make sure that the services really benefited customers in meaningful and noticeable ways so that customers would be happy to make use of the services. By whining about an opt-in solution, all these firms are really admitting is that they do not add value to the surfing experience of users.
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