Behavioral Advertising: The Cryptic Hunter and Gatherer of the Internet by Joanna Penn

In an era where three out of every four Americans have Internet access, the term “surfing” has transformed from riding waves into running the risk of having private information gathered, stored, and disseminated — all without the user’s knowledge or permission. This newfound online practice, known as “behavioral advertising,” is a veritable goldmine for those companies that know the game. But will the FTC or Congress soon make new rules concerning how to play?This Note begins by explaining the differences between behavioral targeting and retargeting and the techniques that the two methods use to collect data. This Note then explores the various areas where unbridled behavioral tracking can cause harm, and concludes with a discussion on how to protect Internet users effectively, whether through regulation, or legislation at a federal level, or through increased transparency and communication by retailers to Internet users.

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