September 24, 2013
Increased privacy on the web
If you have Google Analytics and I visit your website, you will know that I am in Glendale, Arizona. Actually, I usually show up as Peoria, as I am right on the border. You can see that I use a Macintosh computer, when I visited, how many pages I looked at, and for long, that sort of thing. And if you have cookies on your site, like Walmart does, you know that I ordered three boxes of Cheerios last week.
But increasingly, people are choosing to have information blocked. The first I saw of this was the blocking, by Google, of search engine requests. For example, on Google Analytics, you can see if someone found your site by searching for "dachshunds" or "wiener dogs". But even that is going away. The vast majority of searches are not done in a way that won't allow them to be displayed.
Oddly enough, what is driving this increased privacy is the desire for people to visit, uh, websites, that, uh, well you know. And so a browser like Chrome has "incognito", Opera has "private browsing". This blocks everything from cookies to your geographical location. And it leaves no trail after you have quit the browser.
Personally, I like having a site like Walmart remember that I ordered Cheerios, so I can order them again next month. So I have no real desire to be "incognito". But a lot of people put a premium on privacy, even if they're not visiting those, uh, websites, uh, you know. And this will drive the future of the internet into being a place where if you want to provide information, you will do it yourself, it won't be automatically collected. And the best place to provide information about yourself, your private life, etc., is on Facebook. And that's a choice that you make.
Posted by Brad Hall