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Internet Activity Data: What’s it Worth?

I followed a link to, a Web 2 ot Doh! application that keeps track of your time. You install a piece of spyware toolbar widget timer app, and RescueTime keeps an accounting of how long you are using a particular desktop application (like Word or Excel or Outlook) or web site (like Sphinn). I’m not sure I want to know how much time I spend on some web sites, but I do like the idea of capturing time (that is why I used Timeslips before I started to hate it).

This is what I clipped from the Privacy Policy assurance statement, which directs you to read the privacy policy:

“…the only thing we track is the names of the apps and sites you use and the times that you use them”

Um… is there anything else they could track? I mean, shy of taking screen shots of what I do or logging every keystroke I type (which reminds me, eBlaster¬† has been upgraded), they are recording a lot of personal activity data. What is that worth to you? A free time usage data logger?

It would take a lot more than a free time accounting widget for me to hand over tracking of every website I visit and when and for how long, every desktop application I use and when I use them, and perhaps most importantly how often, when, and how I use my computer and Internet connection. Using Skype? Vonage wants to know! Visiting via https? Skype wants you to know it’s cheaper! An active eBayer? Never use eBay?¬† Good to know! Downloading IRS forms? Spending time of PlentyOfFish? All good to know.


  1. Gammydodger wrote:

    Nice post, thanks. I’ve just signed up for the beta of PageOnce – an aggregator who bring all of the sites I subscribe to onto one page. I’m wondering what they’re going to be doing with that data – apparently they exist to make my life convenient and they will protect me, there’s no mention of how they plan to make money. I think I can guess though…

    Monday, January 28, 2008 at 2:51 am | Permalink
  2. Alex wrote:

    We will be entering a new era soon when people will start to realize the value of privacy and data. As ads get better at targeting it is a matter of time before it will alert consumers.

    When your spouse opens up your laptop and an add for that herpes cream you researched appears… then people will start to fight back.

    As my father taught me, nothing in this world is free.

    Monday, January 28, 2008 at 11:18 am | Permalink