Google’s new ‘invasion of privacy’

I’ve just been informed of Google’s changes to the way they monitor your web traffic, to help target their advertising partner’s adverts in a more targeted way.

This on the plus side should mean more appropriate adverts based on your browsing preferences (if you’re in to that sort of thing).. on the negative side, it means cookies are being used even more invasively to watch where you go. (Much like facebook ads can be very much based on ‘wedding photography’ if you change your status to engaged.. other general adverts advertising apparently ‘dating’ sites in your town based on your IP address, etc..) )

It’s kind of like your supermarket clubcard, being used to monitor all of your shopping habits, and then sending you ‘special offers’ because they know, based on previous years trends that someone’s birthday is coming up.

Also similar to the Nectar card being used for whatever they like, to share all of your spending habits with anyone they choose, and not giving you the chance to opt out of having your details shared.)

This is one of the reasons I always recommend friends and clients to move their browsing habits to something like Mozilla instead of Explorer, and then set the privacy settings to remove all cookies & temporary files after closing the browser.

Thankfully, Google have helped pre-empt the backlash, by developing a couple of plug-ins (for Mozilla & Explorer) to block the cookie while you browse:
http://www.google.co.uk/privacy_ads.html
http://www.google.com/ads/preferences/html/opt-out.html

If you have any questions that arise out of any of information above, please do get in contact.

Youtube and copyright infringement

With the huge popularity of YouTube, and of course the countless numbers of people adding backing music to virtually every video posted, I did wander how long it would take before something was done about all the music copyright infringement as such.

I now a few friends and colleagues that have had their videos removed without notice in the past, because of the backing music they’d used (ie Jive Bunny) Then today, I spotted this thread:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/technology/2008/09/youtube_cat_stevens_and_me.html

Essentially, as far as I can gather, rather than now removing the videos (although they still reserve that right) YouTube’s owner’s Google, now just place an advert next to each copyright infringement, and get a share of the revenue.

Of course the person who’s video/photos ‘support’ the music, don’t get a cut of the advertising revenue.. but at least you can add watermarks or scenes to the video to do your own advertising within your video if you so wish!