Behavioral Targeting . . .

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Microsoft joins Yahoo and others in implementing “behavioral targeting.”.

What’s that? It’s a way by which someone sends you ads based on your Web-surfing habits.

This may be good news for some, maybe most, but definitely not for all, especially down the road.

For example, let’s say you’re a porn magnet. It’s going to be very difficult to explain to your boss why the Encarta or Yahoo or maybe someday a New York Times webpage has many naked women on it engaged in activities which are not in your job description. It may not be quite as tough as explaining it to your parent or spouse, though.

It doesn’t have to be as extreme as that, of course. If you spend considerable time at work not working, you can clean out your history as much as you like, but the ads will show where you’ve been.

Many people are absurdly paranoid about their Web use, like every hacker and espionage organization is out to get them. Worrying about this might be a little less tin-foil hat material than usual.

Ed


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