kpix-7-2013-masthead kcbs 7-2013-masthead

ConsumerWatch: Tips For Avoiding Being Tracked Online

View Comments
(Photo Illustration by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

(Photo Illustration by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) – No matter where you surf on the internet, there’s a good chance those clicks on your computer will come back to haunt you.

“Websites broadcast where you’ve been and what you’re looking at,” said Seth Rosenblatt of CNET.

Those crumbs of information also include where you are located and your computer’s IP address. Rosenblatt said lots of people are willing to buy that information, including data brokers, advertising agencies and tracking firms. That’s why, Rosenblatt said, ads for products you’ve expressed an interest in follow you around the internet for days.

“They use that information to determine what kind of ads to show you next,” he said.

Wednesday in San Francisco, the new chairwoman of the FTC called on the advertising industry to give consumers “effective and meaningful privacy protection,” by coming up with a standard way for consumers to make it known they do not want their on-line activity tracked.

In the meantime, Rosenblatt recommends anti-tracking software. He likes Abine’s DoNotTrackMe program, which is available at http://abine.com/dntdetail.php. The free software prevents your computer from passing along information about your computer activity.

View Comments
blog comments powered by Disqus