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Staying Private, II

Surfing the AOL / Google search logs is indeed scary (data here), so I wanted to try out EFF's privacy suggestions. Myself, I found installing FoxyProxy and Tor to be pretty simple.

Question: Could an increased interest/awareness of online privacy harm online advertisers by hampering their ability to track? (We online advertisers aren't Big Brother, we just need to match ad sales to ad cost to buy more of the effective ads and less of the ineffective.)

No, I don't think so. I believe the overwhelming majority (guess: 99.5% plus) of web users won't care enough about the privacy issue to change their habits or install anonymizing technology. The only long-term concern would be if future browsers automatically and by default used proxies and cookie blocking for identity obfuscation, and I don't see that happening any time soon. The greatest impact to online advertisers may be in increased public (mis)perception about tracking and cookies. Good idea to make sure your privacy policy is honest, accurate, non-alarming, and written in plain English.

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