The Web’s New Gold Mine: Your Secrets

A Journal investigation finds that one of the fastest-growing businesses on the Internet is the business of spying on consumers. First in a series.Hidden inside Ashley Hayes-Beaty’s computer, a tiny file helps gather personal details about her, all to be put up for sale for a tenth of a penny.The file consists of a single code — 4c812db292272995e5416a323e79bd37 — that secretly identifies her as a 26-year-old female in Nashville, Tenn.The code knows that her favorite movies include “The Princess Bride,” “50 First Dates” and “10 Things I Hate About You.” It knows she enjoys the “Sex and the City” series. It knows she browses entertainment news and likes to take quizzes.”Well, I like to think I have some mystery left to me, but apparently not!” Ms. Hayes-Beaty said when told what that snippet of code reveals about her. “The profile is eerily correct.”
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703940904575395073512989404.html

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