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Are sites that you participate selling information about you?

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posted on Jul, 13 2010 @ 03:32 PM
Introducing the BI concept

Nowadays, most big business use BI (business intelligence) systems, that get data and transform that in information that will have an impact on their business. An example: a rental video shop have a lot of data like DATE where a copy of a movie gets rented, its customers, how many copies of each movie ...

Ok, but that isnt useful information. So, thought a BI techniques, you get all these data, transforms, and you can create a new database containing the DATE-TIME where the last copy of each movie was rented, and that would be a valuable information for the rental store.

What about websites

So, ok, and whats the relation between this and websites.

Well, almost all websites you go to already have databases that store information about the actual content. So, imagine what sites like,, itunes could get of useful information? Which movies a certain region of the world prefers? Which type of movies nowadays are getting more attention? Which news is the most read in EAST-US? Which country buys more digital music? You will analyze the history too, by days, weeks, months, years, or even hours, everything will depend on your objective.

So you will have valuable information about your business. The big problem is that, not only the website will use information to improve their own service, but maybe they will sell information to Hollywood industry, music industry, government ... it may be actually a very good way to get money to your website

Community board example

Lets use a community board as an example: they have information about views, replies, content, category, date about all the Topics, users IP address, maybe SEX. But, again, that alone is just data, thats not good information.

What kind of information would be good for a community discussion like website? Well, you could profile users by region, and each time a reply, a view, a create topic action is made, you could get this data and transform that into valuable information.

So, now, as example, you could have information about which subjects are getting more attention in each part of the world and by SEX. And you can analyze that by days, so, you can know exactly the history and get patterns of usage.

Back to BI

Again, the type of information that a business (an organization, a company, a website) can get is EXTREMELY valuable to them, since they can use to improve their services, to minimize costs ... But the information is valuable to other business. As I said, a movie website may be able to get information that the movie industry wants to know.

Everything I said is not hard to do. You have a database, you can redirect information to another so they can process in a different way, no problem, that wont cause you a lot of difficulties to do if you study the techniques. You wont need to do anything illegal, you will just use the data you already have and transform that in useful information.

And thats not illegal I suppose, since you wouldnt profile an specific user, but his characteristics like REGION, SEX, AGE CLASS (A - 0~15 ; B - 16~22 ...)if you have them available. But its just amazing the amount of information you could get by doing just that.

The Google "thing"

What about Google? If you have a google account, you probably know that they record information about what you search on the web, which videos you watch, besides all the other stuff they need to record and associate everything to YOUR

So, why the heck would Google do that? Why would they record the information by username? Dont get me wrong, they should record what people search, so they can improve their system, but why would they record that associated to your username? Isnt that a waste of space?

Thats very weird, if they wanted to do a profile about what people are searching around the globe, they wouldnt need to associate searches with your name, so, thats probably used to sell information to some agencies that want to investigate specific individuals.

So, can I know if they are studying users behaviors and selling that?

No, its impossible to know, and I would say that in the future that would be a must in any big website. It will be used to improve the website, but, as I said, it can be a valuable way to get money for your website.

So, now the question is, is this legal? Is this ethic ?

posted on Jul, 13 2010 @ 03:35 PM
when i go buying batteries and they ask me my name and come on, just give me my stuff please and off i go. I keep a low profile when i can.

posted on Jul, 13 2010 @ 03:45 PM
Why do you think they use cookies?

posted on Jul, 13 2010 @ 03:48 PM
I know facebook data mines. I get custom made advertisments all the time.

posted on Jul, 13 2010 @ 03:49 PM
reply to post by Johnze

you dont need to be registered to be "profiled"

cookies are just awesome way for u to not have to log in every time ... thats it, it really its not that big of a deal ...

you dont need COOKIES to do that

posted on Jul, 13 2010 @ 04:37 PM
Many websites have a privacy policy posted, and if you are going to do business with anyone online, you would do well to read those privacy policies beforehand. Although there are probably some who either won't have a privacy policy posted, or it will be so full of garbage that an attorney couldn't figure it out, most reputable websites do have one posted and will inform you what they may do with certain information you provide. Unfortunately, there are many places that will at the very least sell your email address.

posted on Jul, 13 2010 @ 05:54 PM
There is a certain amount of information given to every website you go to. Your IP address, which identifies your ISP and general location (usually). Also, when your browser generates an HTTP request it includes the
user-agent field which identifies the program you're using to access the website.

All of that information is perfectly valid to collect and sale, as its integral to the act of visiting the webpage.

Other information is volunteered by the user when the register with the site, make a profile, etc. Websites are bound by their privacy policy and nothing else; if they break their policy they could be sued.

Websites definitely sale information, it's where a lot of junk email comes from, but most of the information they sale is volunteered by the user and bound by an available privacy policy.

posted on Jul, 14 2010 @ 12:59 PM

no discussion, no posts

people here love to talk crap about government spying on everyone and talk things completely out of reality, but when facts and techniques are presented, no one gives a $%

reply to post by Wayne60

I was talking about information, instead of DATA ... if you sell emails I mean, its useful, but its not something that would represent a lot of money

but if you process and sell the information, like what people prefer, where are the people ... to answer these type of questions is essential in all business

[edit on 14/7/10 by Faiol]

posted on Jul, 14 2010 @ 03:19 PM
reply to post by Faiol

Yeah should read what cookies actualy do

posted on Jul, 15 2010 @ 12:16 PM

Originally posted by Johnze
reply to post by Faiol

Yeah should read what cookies actualy do

Cookies have been propagandized into a big monster by companies trying to sale you anti-virus software.

Cookies aren't programs that can be executed, they are just name value pairs.

Here's the HTTP header that sets a cookie:

HTTP\1.1 200 OK
Content-Type: text/html
Content-Length: 100
Set-Cookie: id=123456

and when the browser goes back to that page:

GET * HTTP\1.1
User-Agent: mozilla\1.0
Cookie: id=123456
Accept: text/html

In other words, can cookies be used to track you? yes. Can you easily delete them? yes. Is the whole process entirely transparent if you choose to take an interest and look? yes.

Cookies are not that dangerous. They are very simple, and very easy to avoid if you feel so inclined.

posted on Jul, 15 2010 @ 08:32 PM
reply to post by avingard

cookies are not the focus of this thread

this thread wasnt focus on what people can to to track individual information

I was talking about in a way to get real information from data and user pattern of websites

posted on Jul, 15 2010 @ 10:50 PM
Big Brother is always watching you.

posted on Jul, 15 2010 @ 10:59 PM
I would be more concerned about the information the big 3 credit bureaus' have compiled on every single one of us. It should be a wake up call when one of the CEO's goes on Dateline and straight up says that we should all be very worried. They are lightly regulated with virtually little they cannot do with your info. and Congress has neglected to address this issue, to date.
We have bigger things to worry about than what Facebook is profiling.

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