I definitely think its fair game for a company to supply you with free services. I mean, they have to get their income from somewhere; we all got to eat (lol). It is not an invasion of privacy if a company doesn’t tie your name to it. As long as they don’t get a hold of my credit card or SSN, we will be all right. This goes along with our previous blogpost about privacy and secret-ness. Nothing is private on the net and it shouldn’t be a surprise that we are being tracked in this manner either. All that information is fair game and useful for companies advertising wise sales, and potentially helping you find services you need a lot easier and many time with discounts.
The stats and information these companies collect are probably some of the most valuable information out there for businesses. We are exposed to so much on the web and we have so much at our disposal, so if a company doing its due diligence to create statistics and market research, then they should be able to make money from it. Ultimately it benefits everyone, the consumer, the vendors, large corporations and the average Joe.
Just to consider another perspective though, perhaps there should be a tradeoff. People should have a choice of being tracked. For example, if you select yes, (sort of similar to email lists for various retailers where you can opt in or out of special offers and etc), then there should be an incentive. If for example, a website charges for subscription or something, then maybe it can be free or a cheaper rate in exchange of being tracked, but the whole concept is basically the person or consumer should have a choice in being tracked.
It is kind of like television, you get to watch for free, but within the programming there are advertisements. And although the advertisers don’t see or track your viewing preferences, they air specific commercials on certain channels, also considering the program and timing. The advertising on channels is what the channel owner makes money off of.
"They" can track me all they want, and if any crucial illegal harm is brought up on me, then IT IS ON – legal action baby! Until then, let us all benefit one way or another, whether it be advertisers tracking me and giving me deals or tracking to see how to monitor websites better.