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1bn Internet users' interests being tracked online by data sharing firm

December 21, 2010 - Washington

An Internet link sharing service, which tracks users interests via cookies, is now offering parts of the data it has on one billion internet users to marketers.

AddThis, the link sharing company, announced that it had created "a digital map of the connection between people and the things they care about most," with the data it has collected.

According to ReadWriteWeb, the map, called AddThis Analytics, was created by tracking people's online interests via cookies, small pieces of text stored on a user's computer that tracks browser data.

While the knowledge that one billion people's online interests are being tracked might be disquieting to privacy advocates, it could provide very valuable information for marketing interests.

As of right now, the information provided regarding users interests is vague, and AddThis currently only tracks things like a users interest in music and education, and it is only available through a somewhat general dashboard viewer.

However, that is subject to change, as AddThis says it will eventually offer more searchable and specific results on users' interests.

"The new AddThis Analytics is the first of many products we plan to release, leveraging our scale and this new technology, to give more value back to our publisher network," CBS News quoted AddThis as saying on its website.


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