Saturday, October 10, 2009

Dark Side Of Social Networking And Intelligent Usage Tracking

"There is a dark side to some of the impressive new online technologies that are appearing, from social networking to behavioural advertising to RFID 'smart chips', the European Commission's internet chief has warned.

While such technologies offer great vistas of opportunity, the commission is monitoring their development "closely" for the very real potential threats to privacy they contain, information society commissioner Viviane Reding said on Monday at a debate on the future of the internet in Brussels."

"...she worries about all users of social networking, not just children, and fears that most users of such sites are unaware of the dangers to their privacy.

"Social networking has a strong potential for a new form of communication and for bringing people together, wherever they are," she said. "But is every social networker really aware that all pictures and information uploaded on social networking profiles can be accessed and used by anyone on the web?""

"The EU's internet chief also said that behavioural advertising – those ads that appear that seem to know exactly the sort of books or vacations or concerts you would be interested in – was "another privacy concern repeatedly mentioned to the European Commission these days."

Behavioural adverts are able to do this by keeping track of internet users' web browsing to better target them with advertisements."

Business Week - Future Internet Privacy Worries Europe

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