Understand and Take Action About Your Online Privacy with NPR and NAI
Maremel’s blog has been quiet of late. As its primary writer, I’ve been entangled with too many hours working on research projects about 1) attitudes about technology and 2) search as a new context learning need in formal education. I also have been too addicted to my own community of engagement and attention in Facebook, which has been a real help in much of my current work. (Thanks!) We’ll try to stir the pot here more regularly as our current media and education projects heat up.
Dr. Alea Fairchild of the Constantia Institute sent us these two links as food for thought:
- NPR Piece on Tracking Companies that Track Us (story plus link to listen): http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=129298003
- NAI’s way to see how they really are tracking you: http://www.networkadvertising.org/managing/opt_out.asp
The first piece was a clear presentation of old news that many Internet users don’t clearly understand in their vision of a lovely, neutral web. NPR has created a very easy-to-understand piece that walks readers/listeners through how these elements — cookies, ad networks, etc. — all work together.
The second was a breath of fresh air and one of the growing numbers of websites that in a creepy way can show you who has information on you or tells you how to disentangle yourself. I have considered myself fairly good about blocking or checking cookies, but found that nearly every one of NAI’s member companies had cookies tracking me. With a Check All and Submit, an opt-out cookie was set in place for each of them. I now should go into my master cookie list and see what’s all there.
Do I care? Should I care? I care in that those cookies limit what I actually see and try to craft my experience on the web toward their products. These companies also connect my dots together, which makes decisions about me whether I want those conclusions driven or not.