Summary of The Battle for Digital Privacy is Reshaping the Internet

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The Battle for Digital Privacy is Reshaping the Internet summary

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The tech industry’s titans are starting to take privacy seriously, including the sale and use of people’s personal information. As Brian X. Chen reports in The New York Times, Apple’s iPhones now ask users’ permission to track their activities, Google might eliminate tracking on its Chrome browser, and Facebook says it's working to target ads without exploiting your personal information. The $350 billion a year digital ad industry that supported the internet is shifting – but something has to take its place.

About the Author

Brian X. Chen is the lead consumer technology writer for The New York Times.


Technology giants seek to earn ad revenue amid issues related to privacy and the use of personal information.

Digital advertising, a $350-billion a year industry, has fueled the internet since the early 1990s. Cookies – digital tags placed in people’s browsers – then made it possible to track users’ internet use, giving companies the information they need to target marketing campaigns precisely. The advent of the iPhone and Android – and their app stores – meant companies could place trackers inside individual apps and monitor what users do within them. This data, combined with the information from cookies, facilitated even more fine-grained targeted marketing.

The era of massive, lucrative digital advertising campaigns may be over. With the public uneasy about privacy and the use of personal information for marketing, major tech companies are changing the way...

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