Pondering Personal Data, Online Privacy and the eCommerce Experience while I wait for the Semantic Web to arrive. I am a co-founder of First Retail Inc. - a bootstrapped startup in the Bay Area of California working to leverage semantic web technologies to improve the online commerce experience.

Time for online privacy

This week's announcement from Ask unveiling AskEraser highlights the concern in the market that users have over their online privacy. This is market forces at work - market need, a lead vendor responds, all the other vendors follow suit. By this rule, it is only a matter of time before Google, MSN Search and Yahoo put out a response - that they too will offer more control over user's privacy online, particularly pertaining to their search histories.

Falling Out of Facebook and Back Again

Facebook has backed off with Beacon which I am glad to hear, but it doesn't seem to be quite that simple. When the story first broke, CNN reported MoveOn's protest of Beacon - the story then got more interesting for me.. providing food for thought as I attend IIW this week.

Online identity - does anyone care?

QDOS Beta Launches

I attended the beta launch of the new product from Garlik, QDOS on Wednesday in London. The QDOS product recognizes your online presence - the information about you that is held online, in various databases that are accessible via the world wide web.

Identity Theft and the Emperor's New Clothes

If someone stole my identity what do they actually take? Technically they have taken absolutely nothing. So what's all the big fuss about?

Turning Me Inside Out

I have been getting into the swing of publishing my identity online, even signing up for Openhuman.org, but this week something came up where even I need to draw the line...23andme offers 'the first personal genome service'.

Is Information really only Perfectly Targeted Advertising?

Dave Winer's illuminating comment in his posting When the Time is Right - "Advertising will get more and more targeted until it disappears, because perfectly targeted advertising is just information." begs a whole series of questions:

Am I being stalked online?

Every site you surf, every click you make is being recorded - the details of your online activities are captured in detail by a range of organizations. Most people remain unaware of what is being tracked and the potential risks to their privacy.

Thoughts of selling personal data

Over the last few years there have been a number of stories, ideas and postings regarding selling personal data. I thought I'd gather them up in one place because they are defining a requirement that needs to be fulfilled - probably within the next 12 months.

Too much information?

Dear data-hungry marketers,

I can see how starved you are of information about me. You mine my customer-loyalty data, capture my search terms, yearn after my click data. You would be slavering over my bank and credit-card transactions and fighting over my purchasing history. I'm not quite sure what to lengths you'd go to get your hands on my anticipated wants and needs.

Am I Naked Online?

November 2007

I worry about revealing about myself online. I care who gets to see my profile. It matters to me what they do with that information. Should I care or is it too late to worry about my privacy?

Life today, demands being on the web - for work, for school and for socializing and personal relationships. An increasing number of web and mobile applications make it easy for you to post more information about yourself online dangerously easy.

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