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Columnist finds it daunting when one day's web search becomes a pitch on an unrelated website.
By Rob Hedelt
I'M NO conspiracy
But the way a merchant halfway across the country used a recent online browsing session of mine did get my goat.
It all started simply enough. After I sat through a cold and rainy late-fall football game, I decided it was time to buy a coat that would keep me warm and dry.
I spent the better part of an afternoon searching online for the perfect one.
I eventually narrowed the search to one top contender. I stopped short of finalizing the purchase.
A day or so later, I went on a totally unrelated site to check the weather. There, down in a corner of the page, was an ad for the coat from days earlier.
Viewed one way, it was a service of sorts, a retailer letting me know it had the coat I'd been researching at a really good price. But it also felt like a violation, the topic of my online search ending up as an ad on another, unrelated site.
When it comes to snooping and data-
Governmental agencies are beginning to open talks on controlling how much eavesdropping and information saving should happen online. They should.
A while back, I followed the reports of one Facebook user who became concerned about how much information the online site stores.
A Freedom of Information request showed that the site not only saved everything posted to the Facebook account, but also postings the user tinkered with but discarded.
In other words, Facebook saved the drafts that never became a part of the page--hundreds of pages retained for whatever use.
I realize that some of this is happening because we want things both ways.
We want instant access to goods and information at the push of a button.