A brief excerpt:Jeff Chester Says Computers are Spying on You
Local MattersBy Tyler Machado [09.21.11]
The last time you searched for something on Google or Yahoo, did you give a big corporation permission to track what you clicked on? Have you told Facebook that yes, it’s okay to monitor the interactions you have with friends?
These are trick questions. Digital media companies and advertisers are tracking your every move online, whether or not you know it or approve. The bottom line: Don’t assume anything you say or do on the Internet is private, because it’s probably not.
Jeff Chester, executive director of the Center for Digital Democracy in Washington, D.C., is fighting back. He’s been tracking issues surrounding digital media and privacy since the Clinton presidency. In the 1990s, Congress enacted a law protecting the online privacy of children under 13, but for the rest of us, there are no legal protections from companies that mine our data.
“A very powerful system of personalized data collection and advertising permeates the digital media system,” Chester says, “and very powerful technologies have been deployed to create far-reaching profiles of each of us, allowing companies, especially the largest ones, to unleash very sophisticated and largely stealth tactics designed to influence or direct our behaviors.”
Chester is speaking about Internet privacy and data mining on Thursday, S