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Someone is profiling you as you surf the internet- How private is the click you just made?


Profiling is a humongous privacy issue especially when data-matching connects the profile of an individual with personally-identifiable statistics of the individual. Digital consumer intelligence is transforming the way companies design, market and manufacture their products and services (Febreze from P&G being the biggest instance of a product based on customer profiling).
There is a multitude of wrapper applications which redirect cookies and cache data to other locations. The process of profiling (also known as "tracking") accumulates and analyzes browsing habits, each attributable to a single initiating entity, in order to gain statistics (arrays of activity) involving the initiating entity. Some organizations participate in the profiling of user’s web browsing and collecting the URLs of sites visited for profiling their preferences. The consequential profiles can hypothetically link with data that personally classifies the individual who did the browsing, thus being useful for market analysis. The aggregate trend analysis does not infringe in privacy of individuals. The profiling of a single user does.
Kaiser Permanente, for instance, has about 3 million registered users on its portal where members plan appointments, share records with healthcare providers and receive apprises on appointments and prescription refills.
Online users are also migrating toward online financial management websites like Mint.com, which have a huge database of about 5 million registered users. The website is a single stop for banking, investments and credit data and analysis.

Online transactions are now seeing an advent of the concept of personal data lockers that store consumer information and can be linked to multiple retailers, banks and other businesses. For instance, when a buyer purchases a car: the purchase, registration and insurance will all be connected online to the personal data locker. The responsibility for data security and privacy will need to be shared by individuals and companies in the face of transactions moving to an online model. The Law that affirms privacy regulation for financial data is the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act to allow institutions to participate and share consumer information amongst themselves. This law requires all concerned to have policies and procedures to ensure security and confidentiality of information that they store and use. The onus of allowing these institutions to share consumer information or not rests on the customer by an “Opt- Out” option. Thus, if a consumer has not explicitly opted out of information sharing; the information will be shared and used by default. However, GLB expects that the Financial Institution has to serve you three notices covering their Privacy Policy, the Right to Opt- Out and the safeguards deployed to prevent unauthorized access to the consumer information. 

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