by Mike Masnick
Thu, Oct 2nd 2008 5:35am
We recently wrote about how you should probably be more nervous about the data your ISP is collecting rather than what Google is collecting, because your ISP has access to a lot more data, and the data it has isn't data that you chose to give, as in the case of Google. Plus, ISPs have a long history of selling that data. Now, a new study is showing that most people have no idea that their ISPs track and sell their data, with many believing that an ISP would need to first let them know if they were doing that. In fact, many people are quite concerned about how that data would be used, not realizing that it's already being sold. And, of course, it's not just being sold to ad companies like NebuAd and Phorm, but to website tracking firms like Compete and Hitwise. And, even if that data is sold solely for the purpose of creating trend data, there's no reason that uses can't change over time. For example, the Register is noting that a recent patent lawsuit suggests that trend-tracking research firm Hitwise (which was recently bought by credit giant Experian) may be working on an advertising product as well, that also uses your clickstream data.
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