The ability to remain anonymous online – to keep prying advertisers at bay — obviously generates benefits. But privacy comes at a cost: a lot of valued online services depend on targeted advertising to stay in business. A new paper from the Technology Policy Institute by Michael Hammock and Paul Rubin argues that, for most Internet users, privacy is an over-rated virtue.
To the point, they address the key public policy issue here. Should website visitors’ consent to share information be implied unless otherwise specified (an opt-out system)? Or should websites be required to obtain consent to keep track of users’ preferences (opt-in)? Nicely done.