Data tracking is a technique used to better shape website content to a user. It employs cookies to build a digital profile on a specific user. This allows a website to have a more personal relationship with a specific user and the ability to tailor a website to that user. It also allows websites to get ads that are more suited to particular users.

Data Brokers Edit

Some companies specifically work in data tracking and earn the name data brokers. They specialize in building massive portfolios for anyone that uses the web and sell this information to companies looking for information on a particular person. Companies like this have been around a long time using public records to gather information on people but the internet has allowed these companies to develop more detailed and personal portfolios then before. Tracking users shopping habits, who users connect with on social media, and what ads users click, and what users search are just a few examples these companies use to form portfolios. This data is then refined into finding out what a users preferences may be and the portfolio is built.[1]

Cookies Edit

HTTP Cookies are small pieces of custom information about the user that a web browser stores while a User is surfing the web. The web browser (Google, Bing, Yahoo!, etc.) stores this information to make their engine seem more personalized and comfortable to search in[2]. These small bits of information can be anything from a site remembering your name, what you had in your shopping cart, or your credit card number. However, some sites get more greedy, often using your information to put personalized ads on the sides of your visited websites. These personalized ads are created based on algorithms which decide what you would most likely want to purchase.
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