We always talk about the need for privacy on the web and how that would be implemented. I'm here to play devil's advocate and figure out why this privacy is so important and why we yearn for it so much. I, for one, am not convinced that total internet anonymity and privacy is the right way forward or the best for the web companies that we rely on so much.
I think this is a pretty obvious answer. Everyone is afraid of the Googles and Facebooks of the world and what they will do with all of the data they have on us. Could future financial profiling become a thing or target you for something malicious? The more data they have, the more dangerous they could become. Have they done anything malicious with all of this data to this point? No, not in my opinion.
This is the question I think we need to put more thought into. We immediately jump to the idea that everything we do needs to be private on the internet. What are you doing that you are trying to hide? I always feel like if I need to be ashamed of what I am doing, maybe I shouldn't be doing it. I know, I know, we are afraid of the power some of the big companies have over us with all of the data. Go for it, look through what I do... I spend way too much time looking at dog Instagrams. Phew! There, I said it.
This is the part I am afraid of. SO MANY small businesses are alive because of the power of Adsense and social media marketing. If there is no tracking of us on a device basis, those advertising avenues are not available to those small businesses. If they are, it will cost significantly more for them to target the proper audience and could put them out of business.
I actually kind of like the targeted ads I see day to day on websites. If those ads are not targeted, you better bet ads will still be there. They will just be something you do not care about. The internet is a much more personalized experience because of the tracking that is done when you browse. It is telling you what you want to see next and in some cases, it is right!
I have nothing to hide and if you want to track me, cool. If that means more small businesses can stay alive and the ads I see are more targeted, it is a good thing in my book. Instead of always focusing on what those big scary companies MIGHT do with our web traffic, maybe we should start looking at what value they are already providing. We need to think about whether or not this is a good trade-off.