I made this post on the Yahoo Web Analytics message board, but I wanted to post it here because I feel that it's important for anybody involved with web analytics to get an understanding of what's going on out there.
There are petitions being put out by consumer advocacy groups requesting that the FTC investigate the regulation of data collection. Depending on the decision that the FTC makes, there could be a large impact on the way web analytics is used today.
With that being said, I think the FTC is smart enough to see the value in web analytics and that it's not designed to infringe on a web site visitor's personal information. We all know that web analytics is designed for helping online businesses improve their site performance and marketing efforts.
Anyway, here is my post. Feel free to read the article and leave me any comments.
FTC Asked to Stop Microsoft's AdCenter
I'll bet $1,000 that these consumer advocacy groups, who petitioned the FTC, have members that go to their local grocery stores on a daily basis and use their Vons, Ralphs, Albertsons, Safeway, etc. club cards to save money on groceries. Yet, I don't see them petitioning against grocery chains.
I bet they've swiped those discount cards dozens of times without realizing that while those club cards are great for getting discounts on an overpriced box of cereal, they are really designed for tracking every item you buy.
Whoops....did I say that out loud (sorry grocery stores)?? I guess I'm all for grocery chains making my shopping experience better. I know....I know....I'm crazy! Do I really care if they know that I bought a gallon of milk and a six pack of Guinness beer??? No. In fact, I think it's great when I get two coupons in the mail a month later for discounts on what else....milk and Guinness beer.
I say...keep swiping those discount cards and let's keep getting our beer discounts!