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Breaking Down Privacy & Online Advertising

Breaking Down Privacy & Online Advertising - The Beacon


By: Beth

Breaking Down Privacy & Online Advertising

You shop online, look for jobs online, visit social media sites, and browse news blogs. And now you’re worried there’s a little too much information out there about you. It’s a hot topic, online privacy.  And recent news items like this one from Bloomberg Business Week, discussing Facebook’s user tracking, keep the issue in the forefront.

While we’re being asked to share more and more about ourselves when visiting or subscribing to these kinds of sites, many become concerned about how that information is getting distributed and shared.  Fortunately, there are websites like this one from the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) that help break it down for consumers.

Visit their “Privacy Matters” page if you’d like to understand online advertising. I did. And here’s a bit of what I learned:

  1. Although online advertisers have ways of tracking my preferences, I have some control.
  2. Advertisers obtain information about me by learning what websites I visit and how I complete profile forms.
  3. I can take precautions to keep my data protected. One way is to actually read those lengthy privacy policies.
  4. There is more to know about “cookies” than just how to delete them.


Go to “Understanding Online Privacy” to read more.

Read more about privacy and advertising from your BBB.

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Beth was Director of BBB Services and wrote for the consumer education blog from 2008 to 2011. Beth also managed projects of the Tri-State Better Business Bureau Foundation, including the Student of Integrity Scholarship and senior citizen education programs, and she worked with local charities as a part of our charity reporting service.