Future of user tracking on the internet

By | November 17, 2011
Tracking user behaviour has been a key to marketing for quite some time – and I don't think that's ever going to change. But how companies track users has changed, and will continue to change and adapt.

If we look at the history of user tracking, there are methods that should sound familiar: cookies, affiliate links with URL-based tactic codes, user registration in exchange for some added-value marketing perks, session-based tracking… and then we move into rather "tricky" tactics that, for the most part, have been banned due to various legal interventions – in particular ones storing tracking information in flash or other popular web platforms, within the browser, or any number of other places which the user doesn't have control over.

And now we're faced with a new direction: analytics providers that have teamed up with government and law-enforcement agencies to build solutions that are "non-tricky", but yet extremely pervasive and not very intuitive for an average internet user to quickly understand what it is and what is at stake.

I think this direction is the correct way to go, yet it is not as consumer-focused (yet) as I'd like it to be. But I expect that will change as the web marketing community matures and starts to attract more attention from consumer-interest agencies, and net lobby group influence grows.

/link via +John Hardy

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Waxy.org. Waxy.org is the sandbox of Andy Baio, a writer and tech entrepreneur in Portland, OR. I work with Expert Labs, helped build Kickstarter, founded Upcoming, made an album, and other stuff too….

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