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Subject: User-tracking (was Re: UKNM: old chestnuts: upfront registration)
From: Jay
Date: Wed, 25 Aug 1999 18:05:36 +0100

On Wednesday, August 25, 1999 9:12 AM, Tomski said:

> depends on how you define "customisation" vs "personalisation" vs
> "registration"
> cookies can and are used to customise content for specific users without
> them every knowing (targeted banners, bringing frequently clicked links to
> the top of a page etc)
> stef, what's the name of that really really pleasant company that bases its
> business on gathering such "anonymous" user profile data across a network
> of sites?
> cookies can also be used to allow users actively to personalise the content
> on a site, without the user being required to supply anything more than
> his/her preferences
> At 04:51 PM 8/24/99 +0100, you wrote:
> >Cait
> >
> >It is NOT possible to *register* users at a site without their knowledge.
> >absolute most that can be done is tracking with cookies, but cookies
> >extract information that they did not place there themselves. Thus,
> >you specifically ask a user for personal details, the most you can ever
> >about them is the ip address and host name of their machine, and even
> >you are most likely to pick up the proxy server/firewall/ISP that they go
> >through.

For an intro on user tracking see:

There's a good paragraph that explains how disparate sites that use the same
ad/tracking server can share information and thus build up a lot of
information about their users.

It's from "Philip and Alex's Guide to Web Publishing" which is a great book
(although does proselytize a little too much about AOLserver & Oracle).

Jay Gooby
Tui Interactive Media [http://www.tui.co.uk]
34-35 Dean Street London W1V 5AP
+44 (0)171 734 7757 jayattui [dot] co [dot] uk
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