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What Personal Data Do Facebook Quizzes Collect And Share? (Privacy Rights)

Behavioral Exchanges: Where Your Web Browser Cookies Are Bought And Sold

Who knew that when you opted into getting online ads from an advertising network that you were also agreeing to allow firms to sell the contents of your browser cookie file. From the New York Times:

"BlueKai and eXelate work in similar ways. They both track who is interested in what through a cookie, an invisible bit of code on a Web page. When someone does a search, for example, on for first-class flights to Paris in September, that information can be captured by a cookie, and can sell that cookie using eXelate or BlueKai."

How it works:

"Once the [corporate advertising] buyers log in to the exchange, they select the criteria they want, and the exchange tells them how many cookies are for sale. BlueKai has about three million cookies for in-market sedan buyers, for instance, and nine million for cellphones and P.D.A.’s. The advertisers specify how recent they want the cookie to be — they may want only people who have looked for their product in the last day — and bid on a price. The challenge for eXelate and BlueKai is to get publishers and commerce sites interested in selling information about their visitors."

It's unclear if this applies to Adobe Flash cookies, which also collect and share data about consumers.

Consumer notification, control, and opt-in (not opt-out) mechanisms need to be really clear about this. And, I believe behavioral exchanges should exclude medical information. It'd be great if the FTC actually did its job and set some guidelines for behavioral exchanges.


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