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News Link • Communications

Race Is On to 'Fingerprint' Phones, PCs

• Wall Street Journal
David Norris wants to collect the digital equivalent of fingerprints from every computer, cellphone and TV set-top box in the world.
He's off to a good start. So far, Mr. Norris's start-up company, BlueCava Inc., has identified 200 million devices. By the end of next year, BlueCava says it expects to have cataloged one billion of the world's estimated 10 billion devices.

1 Comments in Response to

Comment by Ross Wolf
Entered on:

Mr. Norris’s alleged plan to separately track and profile every computer’s "reputation" based on its user's online behavior, shopping habits and demographics to sell this information to advertisers and others— interested in someone’s interests and activities online, is foreseeable to destroy free speech for millions on the Internet. For example what happens if someone worried about losing their job at a pharmacy company no longer can  (anonymously) post a comment about defects in mediation his or her employer is markedly; that would scare off whistle blowers posting information on the Net.  Citizens would be afraid to express their personal or political views on issues for fear government, their employer and others might purchase that information; more disconcerting is hat Citizens might be afraid to visit websites to read information because their (reading behavior) could be tracked and sold. Persons who have nothing to lose or are retired nor have to work for a living, might not be concerned about losing their anonymity when posting Internet comments; or profiled by their Internet Actively; however, that could quickly change if a police state government subsequently got the power to arrest Citizens because of what they say on the Internet. Private companies tracking and profiling online users behavior for purposes of selling that information could cause the Internet to become a wasteland of endless advertisements, with few free speech web sites as millions would be afraid to use their computer to visit.

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