Gallup has a new poll out that says a majority of US Internet users don’t want to be tracked across the internet. The only problem is, polls like that are meaningless.The fact of the matter is, most people don’t understand how tracking works on the internet. Tracking is also what allows you to click “remember me” when you log in to Facebook or your email. Do poll respondents understand that? Do poll respondents understand the distinction between advertisers tracking personal data (totally illegal) and tracking aggregate, anonymized data?
The simple fact of the matter is that tracking is vital not only to internet business models, but also to the internet user experience, and that personalisation is one of the huge trends of the future of the web. Congress may be stupid, but they’re not going to kill the goose that lays the golden eggs.
It’s like those polls of Americans (Europeans aren’t better on this front) who say they want a balanced budget. And no tax rises. And no cuts to entitlements or defence spending. It’s sound and fury, signifying nothing.
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