For those who want to abolish the Federal Trade Commission, maybe things like this should make you reconsider.
On Wednesday, [the FTC] turned up the heat on the technology industry – and browser makers specifically – to move more quickly to create simple, universal controls to let people tell advertisers and data brokers that they may not collect information about their Web browsing and buying habits.
It’s complicated but its good to know someone’s looking at it.
It does creep me out when I visit B&H photo and find a rotating ad for a pair of boots I just looked at at Zappos. The cookie that does this is called a “beacon” and its in use all over the place. Easy to disable but just as easy to step into again.
If this topic interests you I highly recommend listening to this: Online Tracking: Creepy Commerce?. This was an excellent show and Julia Angwin of The Wall Street Journal gave a great overview of how all of these behind the scenes technologies work.