Posted on Jun 28th by William in Uncategorized
People ask what’s the problem with cookies and tracking… An excellent new report from Berkeley Law School (CNet report) shows the near-universal scale of the issue, and their technical partner Abine’s lawyer Sarah Downey answers the question well:
The harms of online tracking are real and growing. This isn’t about targeted advertising, like the ad industry wants everyone to believe. This is about the collection and use of your personal information in ways you can’t even imagine.
Some of the real, demonstrated harms include price discrimination (the WSJ just covered how Orbitz targets Mac users with more expensive hotels), lowered credit scores and limits, denial of insurance coverage/more expensive coverage, lost job opportunities, identity theft, filter bubbles, censorship of speech and association due to fear of later repercussions, and erosion of the 4th Amendment right to privacy (particularly society’s collective understanding of when an expectation of privacy is “reasonable” in the face of all this tracking).
Not sure what the 4th Amendment is – probably one of the few freedoms remaining after the Patriot Act. And not sure what a filter bubble is either. Glad of any expert help.