The Fight For The Right To Track You Online

Advertisers, browser manufacturers, privacy advocates, Congress, and government entities are literally tangling with each other over online data-collecting mechanisms.

The Fight For The Right To Track You Online

Article written by guest writer Kecia Lynn


What's the Latest Development?

Earlier this month, Microsoft's announcement that its forthcoming Internet Explorer 10 will have "Do Not Track" set to "on" as the default caused the board of the Association of National Advertisers to write an open letter to Microsoft executives saying that the company should "realign with the broader business community" by making the Do Not Track option default to "off." Also, at a recent meeting of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) to figure out global standards for tracking mechanisms, privacy advocates and advertising industry reps "accused each other of trying to stymie the process."

What's the Big Idea?

Marketers argue that by allowing sites to collect tracking data on its users in exchange for open access, they can survive and thrive by being able to promote rich content. One advertising industry consortium offers its own opt-out program, claiming that self-regulation "[works] very well...Why don't we give that a chance to succeed?" Privacy advocates like Dan Auerbach say that users "have a right to know how their information is being used and to opt out" in whatever way is best for them.  Federal Trade Commission chairman Jon D. Leibowitz believes there's something suspicious going on: "[T]here is clearly a rogue element of advertising networks that wants to subvert the process."

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com

How New York's largest hospital system is predicting COVID-19 spikes

Northwell Health is using insights from website traffic to forecast COVID-19 hospitalizations two weeks in the future.

Credit: Getty Images
Sponsored by Northwell Health
  • The machine-learning algorithm works by analyzing the online behavior of visitors to the Northwell Health website and comparing that data to future COVID-19 hospitalizations.
  • The tool, which uses anonymized data, has so far predicted hospitalizations with an accuracy rate of 80 percent.
  • Machine-learning tools are helping health-care professionals worldwide better constrain and treat COVID-19.
Keep reading Show less

Designer uses AI to bring 54 Roman emperors to life

It's hard to stop looking back and forth between these faces and the busts they came from.

Meet Emperors Augustus, left, and Maximinus Thrax, right

Credit: Daniel Voshart
Technology & Innovation
  • A quarantine project gone wild produces the possibly realistic faces of ancient Roman rulers.
  • A designer worked with a machine learning app to produce the images.
  • It's impossible to know if they're accurate, but they sure look plausible.
Keep reading Show less

Dark matter axions possibly found near Magnificent 7 neutron stars

A new study proposes mysterious axions may be found in X-rays coming from a cluster of neutron stars.

A rendering of the XMM-Newton (X-ray multi-mirror mission) space telescope.

Credit: D. Ducros; ESA/XMM-Newton, CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO
Surprising Science
  • A study led by Berkeley Lab suggests axions may be present near neutron stars known as the Magnificent Seven.
  • The axions, theorized fundamental particles, could be found in the high-energy X-rays emitted from the stars.
  • Axions have yet to be observed directly and may be responsible for the elusive dark matter.
  • Keep reading Show less

    Put on a happy face? “Deep acting” associated with improved work life

    New research suggests you can't fake your emotional state to improve your work life — you have to feel it.

    Credit: Columbia Pictures
    Personal Growth
  • Deep acting is the work strategy of regulating your emotions to match a desired state.
  • New research suggests that deep acting reduces fatigue, improves trust, and advances goal progress over other regulation strategies.
  • Further research suggests learning to attune our emotions for deep acting is a beneficial work-life strategy.
  • Keep reading Show less
    Surprising Science

    World's oldest work of art found in a hidden Indonesian valley

    Archaeologists discover a cave painting of a wild pig that is now the world's oldest dated work of representational art.

    Scroll down to load more…
    Quantcast