This book looks at the issue of "behavioral marketing" which involves the tracking of consumers' online activities in order to deliver tailored advertising. The digital information age, against a backdrop of rising globalization, allows anyone to collect and share information on any subject, corporation, government - or in many cases, other individuals. Companies from retailers to search engines to software makers all collect consumer data - enough to fill vast server warehouses. Of-course, websites have long collected and marketed information about visitors. The latest twist is that behavioral marketing firms "watch" our clickstreams to develop profiles or inform categories to better target future advertisements. Unarguably beneficial, the process however stokes privacy concerns. Thus this book also discusses the Federal Trade Commission's examination of online privacy issues.
This is an edited, excerpted and augmented edition of various government publications.