We are proud to announce our NEW community destination. Engage with resident experts and fellow entrepreneurs, and learn everything you need to start your business. Check out the new home of StartupNation Community at startupnation.mn.co

This Cookie Tracking Service -INVASION of PRIVACY?

profitizerprofitizer subscriber Posts: 16 Bronze Level Member
edited August 2009 in Marketing

I just ran across a website that seems more like a real-time online tracking device (analogous to GPS / Big Brother) yet it provides valuable marketing data to the website owner. Of course, there are many that are already tracking our every move, but I've never found (never looked for) an actual tracking cookie software application service until now.

This is what they say on their 'Features' page:

See which websites your visitors have visited and how they behave on your site.
Insight can tell you with 100% accuracy how many people who visit your site have visited any other URL on the web.
For example, if you owned the New York Times website, we can tell you with 100% accuracy how many of your readers
subscribe to the Wall St Journal.

We can tell you this information because you can set up Insight to tell you how many of your visitors
have visited the Sign-In page of the Wall St Journal. But we go further than that.

From a marketing standpoint, this type of tracking cookie software service would provide valuable information to the business owner, but the difference is whether or not you mind being the hunter or the hunted. The only way for them to know if you subscribed to the Wall Street Journal is that this software must be reading all of your other cookies on your computer as well as the cookies' logged date and time!

From one standpoint using this type of online tracking cookie service would seem like a 'must-have' application, yet from another vantage point, do you knowingly want an entity to know your every move 24/7 and provide that information to another entity - including e.g. which products you subscribed to -- where you travel after leaving their website (and who you're doing it with )?

Now, do you see why it is advisable to empty out your tracking cookies periodically from your active browsers?

Q: Is this tracking cookie service a good application to use (sign-up with) or not - should it be considered an 'invasion of privacy?' Should websites who use this in-depth tracking technology be required to disclose it on their website by-law? If so, why or why not?

Quite frankly, I don't know what decision to make and not in any hurry to make it. To me, it is not even in the same universe as services such as Statcounter which many consider 'harmless.'

I'm curious to know your position as I haven't chosen a position yet.

Sign In or Register to comment.