One Billion People's Interests Being Tracked Online by One Company

AddThis, an Internet link sharing service, tracks users interests via cookies. It is now offering parts of the data it has on 1 billion internet users to marketers.

AddThis, an Internet link sharing service, tracks users interests via cookies. It is now offering parts of the data it has on 1 billion internet users to marketers.
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AddThis, one of the largest Internet link sharing services, announced Monday it had created "a digital map of the connection between people and the things they care about most," with the data of 1 billion internet users.

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

While the knowledge that 1 billion people's online interests are being tracked might be disquieting to privacy advocates, it could provide very valuable information for marketing interests, reports ReadWriteWeb.

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

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

On its website, AddThis says: "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."


  • Joshua Norman

    Joshua Norman is a Senior Editor at CBSNews.com.

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