If you’re reading this I know your IP address, the state and city you live in, where you came from on the web, how much time you spent reading my blog and what you read.  If you replied to my email linking to my blog I could easily spend a few minutes knowing if you are visiting as an individual or through a company location.  I can even find your address via coordinates and do a Google Earth search and catch a bird’s eye view of your home or office.

I am not a hacker.  I am not a data scientist. I have no interest in spying on visitors or circumventing privacy acts.  But simple, often free, third party application tools allow anyone to venture into this nefarious world of invasive spying, leading to data collection on a deeper, much deeper, level.

Once data is collected, it can be harvested.  Yet as we allow this practice to continue, Adobe notes that “82% of global consumers believe that companies collect too much information on consumers.”

It is no longer a paranoid minority that is freaking out.  GFK and Microsoft found that 93% of email users believe that users should be able to opt-out if they don't want the content of their emails to be scanned in order to target ads.  And the Pew Research Center confirms that 86% of U.S. internet users have attempted to remove or mask their online activities.

As an offshoot to this paranoia, ad blocking patches for web surfing have been slowly nipping away at ad based revenue streams for publishers.  It is estimated that 20% of U.S. surfers have installed ad blockers. The number in the Euro zone is a whopping 40%.

Now the brands and data companies are freaking out.

Data thirsty brands and media may be killing the goose laying the golden data egg.  Tables are slowly turning on the data hunters/gatherers as privacy laws and special interest groups begin to educate the consumer that Big Brother, on the government and enterprise level, is watching. The backlash will hurt.

In the coming months this blog will monitor privacy issues with commentary on both benefits and cautions on the state of the business.

Feel free to reply.

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