The New York Times Article

When Your Data Wanders to Places You’ve Never Been

by, Natasha Singer

This article seems to address the concerns about data being exposed to the wrong audience. It expressed problems in data being drained out to companies that collect information about the user and perceive the wrong impression about the user.

For instance, this person’s friend received a flier in the mail about inviting her to an event in Manhattan for patients with multiple sclerosis. She was not an M.S. patient, she wanted to do some research about it. She was just looking up information about the disease, subscribed to an online recommendation engine about local physicians, and wondered if she would be denied life insurance or not because of her shared profile to drug-company marketers. She knew that her information was misleading and the markets that find all the information she researched about is erroneous to the markets eyes. She came up with the idea, of maybe she could get to the source of the marketers and have them correct her profile and further disseminate the information. However, she didn’t know which companies had collected the information and where the original source originated from.

Since this is an information followed environment, information flows quickly, simultaneously, and endlessly.

In addition of what the article describes, is a lack of visibility for people interested in how information about them changes hand. Meaning that there is a lot of unknown out there on the Internet and numerous amount of the information is skewed. Consumers filling out like, e-mails to brands and sweepstakes, allows their name or customer ID code to be passed around to other companies.

That right there I feel like is just sharing your information that you don’t really want to share. The consumer usually thinks, if I feel out this here sweepstakes I might have a chance to win a free iPad or some cool technological device. At first they think they are just sharing their information to just one share-holder, not to numerous share-holder out there. They feel unaware and violated. Then they realize it after the fact and a lot of consumers don’t take the time to read the fine print before agreeing upon something. First they feel it is boring and a waste of time and energy. And secondly, they really care and want things quick.

What John D. Rockefeller IV pointed out that “Americans should be allowed to be left alone” and that privacy is a fundamental American right. I definitely agree with that. He has “convened a hearing on the status of an online privacy mechanism for consumers called Do Not Track.” For this Do Not Track action, the idea is to allow people to be able to basically turn on settings in their Internet browsers to signal for advertisers, data brokers, and other third-party operators not to collect any information over the Web. I feel like that is an excellent idea, so if consumers forget about the what companies offer on sharing the information with other marketers, they won’t feel exposed since they have the choice, whether they want to share their information or not.

But if that idea goes into effect, they feel like there is a stronger issue that comes from third-party data gathers, who do not interact with consumers. These are the one that just sneak in and steal your data to let the world know. Then this lady named Barbara Palmer, explained that you are able to opt out of specific survey’s in which grab your profile. She explains that when you are filing out the survey, you are consenting to the advertisers to basically use your information. So basically, I think she is trying to say a consumer should be aware of what they are getting their hands into, before they make that action, they might regret.

I found this article to be intriguing on the effects of what the advertisers could do to your information and companies out there, and send you things that could actually irrelevant to your needs or wants. Marketers could perceive you in the wrong light and not actually know what kind of person you are. That just jumping to conclusions. However, I guess it could benefit other consumers in a positive way. It could help inform consumers more about information that they need or want to know. It could help them about connecting more to say a certain disease that they have like cancer. It could enlightened their outlook on life to see that there are other people out there and you can counter act with other people. Like the mistake that this lady had in this article. Say it wasn’t a mistake, she would be able to go


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