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Exclusive! Daily Mail actively using “prying” technology to influence reader behaviour

Visitors to the Daily Mail website are having personal information about themselves captured for the purpose of influencing their behaviour to purchase goods and services, we can exclusively reveal. The Mail also admits that it will use information gathered on individuals to “deal with” comments made on the site.
Extensive research carried out by a crack escherman web team can reveal that the Daily Mail deploys an array of sophisticated web analytics and tracking technologies including Omniture, Sophus3, Google Analytics and ComScore.
According to Andrew Smith at escherman: “It took us all of 15 seconds to identify the full scale of the Daily Mail’s arsenal of monitoring technology. Some of these tools can cost hundreds of thousands of pounds and clearly demonstrates how seriously the Daily Mail is prepared to invest in prying into the online behaviour of its readers.”
The sales literature for Sophus3, for example, makes no attempt to obscure its true purpose:
“Sophus3 has the capability to identify visitors who come from online campaigns, how they behave on your website and whether they turn into a lead or buy after that. With our analysis tools we can determine the effect of online advertising on consumer interest.”
In addition, the Daily Mail’s so called Privacy Policy brazenly asserts that it will use visitor information to: “Deal with, and respond to you about, a comment you have submitted for or on our message boards, blogs and other such user generated content facilities.”
However, demonstrating the highest standards of journalistic integrity, the Mail has already reported on similar kinds of outrageous breaches of privacy by organisations such as BT and Carphone Warehouse.
Concludes Smith: “The amount of information that the Mail is gathering about its online readers is immense – everything from the kind of browser they are using down to their IP address. There can be no doubt that they are openly using this information to try and personalise their readers experience – or worse – co-erce them into buying third party products and services. We can only hope that their own journalists will apply the same rigorous approach as they’ve used with other organisations to write a follow up story to expose their own colleagues questionable behaviour and flagrant disregard for privacy.”

5 replies on “Exclusive! Daily Mail actively using “prying” technology to influence reader behaviour”

Every singe website that makes significant money selling ads does exactly the same thing. The Guardian have done this for years, as have The FT.

The only difference is that the Daily Mail is hypocritical. This newspaper is actually a cancer that needs to be destroyed.

[…] Exclusive! Daily Mail actively using “prying” technology to influence reader behaviour « In Fro… Kevin: The Daily Mail 'reveals' how companies such as BT and Carphone Warehouse are 'spying' on customers by monitoring what people are saying about them on social networks. The Daily Mail quotes privacy advocates saying that this could be a breach of data protection legislation. If I publish something publicly on the internet, I have no expectation that this data is private. This is a great blog post looking at all of the analytics technology that The Daily Mail uses to monitor traffic and respond to comments. Much of The Daily Mail's moralistic campaigning trade on hypocrisy so this all comes pretty much in line with my expectations. The difference now is that there are a lot more people watching the watchers. (tags: UK journalism DailyMail data privacy) […]

This has been happening since the dawn of time in internet terms, and it doesn’t have to cost a cent.

The Mail have covered all the bases – Google Analytics (free), Omniture (not free)

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