59°
Forecast | Radar

Activate Account | Manage Account | Logout | Today's Paper
Today's Paper, also known as the e-Edition, is an online replica of the printed newspaper. You can view today's paper or previous issues.

Common Core State Standard
SL.CCS.1/2/3/4 Grades 6-12: An essay of a current news event is provided for discussion to encourage participation, but also inspire the use of evidence to support logical claims using the main ideas of the article. Students must analyze background information provided about a current event within the news, draw out the main ideas and key details, and review different opinions on the issue. Then, students should present their own claims using facts and analysis for support.

FOR THE WEEK OF NOV. 26, 2007

Online tracking by marketers draws federal attention

frontpageactionpoints.gif
1.gif
Coverage of electronics or other technology involves more than new products. Challenge class members to find a technology report that focuses on education, business, the environment, privacy or another topic.
2.gif
The Internet is the subject of a blog or column in many papers. See if students can identify a feature with information about web sites, computers or personal electronics in general.
3.gif
Web use involves concerns about privacy, security and trustworthiness. Start a discussion about the reliability of traditional media companies, such as newspapers and their sites, compared to online forums, fan sites or user-compiled resources like Wikipedia.

Advertisers peek over our shoulders whenever we use the Internet – commercial surveillance that consumer groups want the government to restrict. For two days this month, Federal Trade Commission regulators listened to critics and defenders of the online practice called behavioral targeting.
Snooping is another way to describe that marketing tactic, which uses unseen technology to build databases about each of us as we click from site to site. That lets companies place ads on specific computer screens based on our interests.

Online tracking lets Netflix offer movie recommendations and lets Amazon make product suggestions based on past searches or purchases – useful applications that don’t annoy most people. But companies also track more sensitive information, such as site visits involving medical, political or financial topics. Facebook plans to deliver ads based on user information like college, friends, marital status and hobbies. Google and other firms track search engine entries and even scan what we type in e-mails.

Critics say this "Big Brother"-style prying is a privacy invasion that could spread to cell phones. They want a do-not-track list, similar to the telemarketing do-no-call list, that lets web users remove themselves from tracking systems. AOL will give members that option, it announced this month. Consumer groups also want us to be able to edit the profiles ad networks build.
Marketers told the FTC that they help consumers see only relevant ads and that they don’t track users by name. They also say this is the price of keeping Web content free.

Watchdog says: "They’re tracking where your mouse is on the page, what you put in your shopping cart, what you don’t buy. A very sophisticated commercial surveillance system has been put in place." -- Jeff Chester, director of Center for Digital Democracy

Marketer says: "Why should the direct mail firms be able to target like that, and we’re not? All because it’s electronic?" -- David J. Moore, chief executive of 24/7 Real Media ad agency

Regulator says: "Providing a consumer with advertising that matches their interests . . . may also come with costs that consumers don’t want to pay." -- Eileen Harrington, FTC deputy director of consumer protection

Front Page Talking Points is written by Alan Stamm for NIEonline.com, Copyright 2016
We welcome comments or suggestions for future topics: Click here to Comment

Front Page Talking Points Archive

Undrinkable water in Flint, Mich., is a signal of health risks from old lead pipes in other cities

Super Bowl 50: A veteran quarterback (Peyton Manning) and a young star (Cam Newton) face off Sunday

All-white acting nominees for movie Oscars revive a national discussion

The actor and the fugitive: Sean Penn's Rolling Stone interview with 'El Chapo' has critics

Annual tech event showcases amazing, useful and wacky electronic devices

The year ahead: Here’s some of what will make front page news during 2016

Protecting the planet: Nations pledge to cut fossil fuels and expand use of cleaner energy

New era for U.S. military: Gender no longer blocks women from infantry or other combat roles

New way to roll: Motorized balance boards are glitzy, costly and a target of concerns

Scary times: More than 30 governors resist federal plans to bring Syrian war refugees

Complete archive