I wish you would have started off by telling me to put on my tinfoil hat before reading this article
You sir, clearly have never written software. Analytics are an amazing tool to have. It's only the paranoid folk who blow it way out of proportion that make it a bad thing. You, are one of these people... Without analytics, software companies would be blind as to how people use their software, and what issues their software is having. Aka they would have no idea what to work on other than using random folk who contact support directly. This results in crappy software nobody wants. Any reputable successful software will have some sort of analytics, I guarantee you.
You have taken this off topic as far as I'm concerned. What you speak of is completely different than tracking with data collection. Software development is fine but data farming doesn't stop there.
Go back and read my initial comment that YOU replied to. It's not off topic, I've been talking about analytics this whole time. Data collection IS analytics.
The free, top notch services (gmail, chrome, etc.) you are using daily.
Best hope advertisers (the people buying the ads) don't ever agree with you in large, or the free web will be over. The only way to pay for websites with actual paid staff will be a paywall to enter them.
I know TechSpot offers a paid version with no ads. How many people are participating in that? I'm genuinely curious how that experiment is going.
Overall though, the internet can't survive as it is without lots of money being poured into the ads. Maybe eventually (as streaming video and the net merge) you will get a package of websites with your NetFlix or Hulu account (or more likely, you'll get Netflix and a package of websites with your Comcast or Disney subscription), but any site not directly subsidized by your streamer/provider would have to charge a subscription fee to stay in business.[/QUOTE]
Have you been able to link that data to sales?
Well, if you did not have your Tin Foil hat on before you started reading this article, then you have to consider the possibility that you were unprepared to read it.
Feedback is where customer service departments come in. I develop software and our company gets feedback directly from our customers.
but I don't use those services...…….
edit: I do watch/listen to YouTube though, but no sign in
The point I'm making is that why would anyone want to? I think people have to realize that generally speaking individuals aren't that interesting. If any of your data really is used it's usually in very broad analytical studies rather than looking up what you searched on Tuesday at 19:03. Personally I think people have this belief that the world revolves around them when in fact it really doesn't. That's my two cents though.
The picture of some human operator checking your search history - that people get when hearing about digital surveillance - is false of course. Unless you get marked by some agency (or a hacker) for some unclear reason - when it becomes way to easy to browse through the gathered data (PRISM, xkeyscore etc.)
The problem for average Joe is that all this data is used to profile, label, make decisions about, even manipulate him (at least by serving "personalized" view of the world) - all automated, according to some hidden algorithms (AI?). Most likely with a large probability of error and without a way to appeal.
Technology made it to easy, so why not use it if it maximizes profits?
BTW this month was 5th anniversary: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/jun/04/edward-snowden-people-still-powerless-but-aware