Rant: Privacy, Tracking, and the Internet

Friday, July 30th, 2010 | Business | 7 Comments

I just got an email alert from saying:

The largest U.S. websites are installing new and intrusive consumer-tracking technologies on the computers of people visiting their sites—in some cases, more than 100 tracking tools at a time—a Wall Street Journal investigation has found.

The tracking files represent the leading edge of a lightly regulated, emerging industry of data-gatherers who are in effect establishing a new business model for the Internet: one based on intensive surveillance of people to sell data about, and predictions of, their interests and activities, in real time.

This impacts me directly, as I frequently work on large e-Commerce sites and have seen first hand the use of tracking technology.

Tracking technology has been around for a long time.  Both on the internet and off.  When you walk into a store, a well trained sales rep should be watching you, gauging your interest, seeing what you look at, and overall deciding the best way to approach you for a sale.  This is not aggressive, this is their job.  This is what websites do.

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AT&T Suspended iPhone 4 Pre-orders!

Wednesday, June 16th, 2010 | Business | No Comments

Wow – too much demand.  I’m sure AT&T thought it would be popular, but did they underestimate it?  I wonder what this means for Apple?  Is the demand that much higher than expected?  Does Apple just want me to write that, and is this just a marketing ploy?

From the WSJ news alert:

AT&T stopped taking advance orders for Apple’s iPhone 4 just one day after orders started, citing inventory issues and unexpectedly high demand. The carrier is suspending the orders “in order to fulfill the orders we’ve already received,” it said in a statement.

The suspension comes a day after a crush of traffic paralyzed AT&T and Apple’s websites on the first day of pre-orders, leaving many unable to reserve the new iPhone ahead of time while some customers inadvertently ended up on others’ account pages.

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